mediaeater - 
TAXI CAB NOTES  4.23.2000    v1.b

Taxi & Limousine Commission (New York, NY, USA) March 2000 Press Release 


Following the successful culmination of a pilot program to test several models of in-vehicle 
infrared digital security cameras, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) 
has authorized their use in licensed for-hire vehicles as an approved alternative security
 device to satisfy the existing partition requirement outlined in For-Hire Vehicle Rule 6-13. 

The in-vehicle security camera system takes digital photo images of the entire passenger 
area of the vehicle, and consists of a small camera with integrated infrared lighting that is 
installed above the vehicle's rear-view mirror. The infrared lighting enables the capture of 
digital images during the day or night. The images are time and date stamped along with 
the vehicle identification number, and are stored in a small controller unit securely installed 
elsewhere in the vehicle The data is encrypted to prevent tampering and may only be accessed 
by authorized individuals through a proprietary software package. The system is designed to
 enhance driver safety by acting as a deterrent to crime and as an effective tool in identifying
 those who commit crime.  

In addition to our current enforcement efforts, the TLC and NYPD will begin an enhanced 
FHV enforcement initiative targeting partition violations beginning May 2, 2000. 

The two approved models are the Verifeye Taxi-Cam model #1500, and the Raywood 
Snapshot model RDC 2010. Additional models may be approved in the future, following 
a similar evaluation of their compliance with TLC specifications. For-hire vehicle (FHV) 
owners are advised that, if they do not meet the criteria for exemption (detailed below), 
they are directed to comply with FHV Rule 6-13 through the use of either an approved 
model partition, or an approved model camera, along with the additional requirements 
set forth in FHV Rule 6-13. 

Section 6-l3: Partitions 

A for-hire vehicle base and a for-hire vehicle owner shall be jointly and severally responsible
 for compliance with the following provisions and liable for violation thereof. No for-hire vehicle
 shall be used in the course of operations of a for-hire vehicle service unless the vehicle is in 
compliance with the following. 

(a) A for-hire vehicle shall be equipped with a partition and a protective plate which would 
isolate the driver from the rear seat passengers, unless the owner is exempt pursuant to paragraphs 
(2), (3) or (4) of this subdivision. 

     (I) The partition shall bc made of lexan, margard or other polycarbonate material not less than
 0.375 inches thick extending upward from the back of the front seat to the ceiling of the vehicle.
 There shall be a provision for communication with passengers and for a money slot while the
 partition is closed. Such partition may be able to be partially opened by the driver, as long as 
the driver can fully close the partition at any time. A for- hire vehicle owner shall also equip the 
vehicle with a 0.085-inch thick plate of ballistic steel or its equivalent, installed inside the back
 rest of the front seat. The plate shall cover the complete back rest area which is exposed to the 
rear seat compartment. 

(2) The vehicle shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraph (1) if: (i) the vehicle is driven
 only by the vehicle owner, and (ii) the vehicle is equipped with a FCC-licensed commercial two-way 
radio with an emergency button that would notify the dispatcher that the driver is in trouble, or the
 vehicle is equipped with some other device specifically approved by the Chairperson to satisfy this 
requirement, and (iii) the owner has not previously been found in violation of this rule with respect
 to the subject vehicle. 

(3) A for-hire vehicle shall be exempt from the requirement of paragraph (1) if the vehicle is affiliated 
only with a black car base or a luxury limousine base. 

(4) A for-hire vehicle shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraph (1) if the vehicle is equipped 
with at least the following two safety devices: (i) a FCC-licensed commercial two-way radio with an
 emergency button that would notify the dispatcher that the driver was in trouble. and (ii) some other 
device specifically approved by the Chairperson to satisfy this requirement. in addition to the trouble 
light required by Rule 6- l3(b). 

Upon conviction, the penalty for the violation of Rule 6-13 is a $350 fine, and suspension until 

For information on the Raywood Snapshot model RDC 2010, vehicle owners may call the unit's 
authorized distributor Herb Schwartz at 1-914-243-5311 

For information on the Verifeye Taxi-Cam model #1500, vehicle owners may call Steve Holmes at 
1-888-VERIFEYE (1-888-837-4339). 

Raywood Communications 

The Raywood SnapShot Product Range consists of two main models: 
RDC2010 and RDC2020. The only difference being the RDC2020 Water and Fire Resistant
packaging. Each of these models can be modified in operation and in storage capacity to suit most customer needs. 

General Product Information, Remote Image Download, SnapShot Features, Product Operation, Some Technical Info  

General Product Overview  

The Raywood SnapShot  is a security surveillance system developed for use in both vehicular and fixed 
installation applications. The system consists of an integrated infra red light source and camera combined
 with digital storage techniques to capture monochrome photographs for security purposes. Typical applications 
of this product are in the areas of security such as Driver safety in public transport vehicles or taxis, and for fixed 
applications requiring event driven surveillance. The system comprises a solid state infra red camera with an in
 built infra red light source and a digital storage unit. Since the infra red light source is almost invisible to the 
human eye, surveillance photographs can be taken with minimal indication to the persons being photographed. 
As the images are captured using infra red light, these images may be captured in complete darkness. 
The SnapShot system is an event driven system in that photographs are only taken when an electrical input is 
provided as the trigger. This trigger may be a car door, a taximeter, a hidden duress switch, a door switch or 
light beam trigger in the instance of fixed installations. Alternative trigger mechanisms or timing sequences can 
be provided on request.  

Remote Image Download 

The software and hardware architectures of SnapShot have been specifically designed to take advantage of 
emerging communications technologies such as the Tetra Digital Two Way Radio standard. These types of 
networks will permit data transfer at rates of up to 28.8 Kbps. Successful downloading of images over existing 
radio and cellular networks have proven to be successful.  

SnapShot Features

Rugged and Reliable construction capable of continuous operation in harsh 
environments such as a motor vehicle.  

Operation in the climatic extremes of temperature and high humidity.  

Fully electronic with no moving parts.  

The SnapShot does not require any film, video tapes or other storage media since 
all photographs are stored as digital images.  

SnapShot consists of two sections, the camera and the storage unit permitting the 
storage unit to be located in a high security area.  

SnapShot will take photographs in the absence of any visible light and can discern 
all skin types.  

The storage unit is battery backed and will retain the images for at least 12 days after disconnection
of the external power source.  

SnapShot features a variable sequence for taking photographs. Customised sequences 
or triggers can be provided.  

Downloading of the stored images can be carried out using a simple cable connection 
to a personal computer from where they can be printed out on a normal laser printer.  

Downloading of the stored images cab be carried out using the provided Video Output, 
this will allow the user to quickly scroll through the stored images and download or tape 
record the images required.  

The SnapShot is capable of connection to a GPS Receiver for in vehicle applications. 
The location data is then superimposed on each photograph.  

User confidence lamp which indicates the system is functioning.

Product Operation

The SnapShot system consists of an integral Infra Red (IR) Camera and IR light source coupled to a separate 
storage device. As IR is used, images can be captured in the total absence of visible light. The Camera unit 
is a physically small unit and is fully solid state utilising a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) as the image collector.

As the method of image capture is digital storage, there are no films or video tape to change or replace.
 While the single camera is sufficient for a normal passenger vehicle, other vehicle applications or fixed 
installations may require an appraisal for suitability and additional camera or IR light source. Operation 
of the SnapShot Image Storage System The SnapShot image capture mechanism can be triggered from 
any of the 4 inputs provided. These inputs are arranged as electrically isolated trigger circuits. In the case
 of a vehicle, these are designated Door, Meter, Manual,  and Alarm. Once triggered, SnapShot will 
begin capturing and storing images. The WinSnap software enables the user to customise the rate of image 
capture and retention. The following is an example of one such setting: 

Door: 10 Images @ 1 per second on activation plus 10 Images @ 1 per second 
on de-activation. 

Meter:  10 Images @ 1 per minute while input held active.

Manual: Input can be activated once every  second causing a single image capture on occasion. If  
held activated for at least 5 seconds, then the last 30(maximum images captured as a  result of Door
 or Meter triggers and the most recent 6 from the Manual activation are frozen.

     Alarm: 1 Image per second until all available memory is filled. 

This sequence format and storage functionality is software controlled and can be either factory or user
 modified to suit particular requirements. Operation of the Manual Switch Lamp A Confidence Lamp, 
located on the Driver Interface Unit, is integrated into the Driver Control Unit, so that user may have
 feedback that the Camera system is operating correctly. This takes the form of a tri-colour LED mounted 
on the panel beside the Manual activation switch.   

Whenever an image is determined by the software to be correctly captured, the LED will flash Green . 
If the software determines that the image data may be suspect, then it will flash Red instead. This 
process occurs whenever any input causes an image to be stored If the Alarm input is triggered, then 
each image capture will produce the above sequence until the storage unit is full, from which time 
the LED will alternate Green, Orange, and Red until the images are down loaded. 

Some Technical Info   

Date, Time, Fleet or Vehicle Registration Number, Location Co-ordinates (when GPS option fitted) on 
each image.  

Secure, authenticated download with Windows 95 or 98 compatible proprietary software with audit trail.
 Downloaded Images may be printed or exported to other applications.

Secure, Tamper Proof images are available for identification or evidentiary purposes.  

Up to 320 Images, expandable to 740 Images. Compression techniques can be used to achieve image
 storage capacity in excess of 4000 images. 

VerifEye Information

VerifEye Product FAQ

The VerifEye 1500 has separate camera and image storage
components. Why? 
The VerifEye1500 is designed for flexible installation. As a result the
image capture facility (Camera) is housed separately from the image
storage facility (Controller). This also allows multiple Cameras to be
connected to a single storage device. 

How many images does the camera store? 
To be completely correct, the "Camera" does not store any images.
The Camera module captures the image which is then transmitted via
cable connection to the Image Storage Controller. The capacity of the
Image Storage Controller is flexible. As standard the unit ships with
enough memory to store 128 images concurrently. The VerifEye 1500
offers a memory expansion option and, subject to the option chosen,
the unit can support the concurrent storage of several thousand

How often does the unit "re-record" over its memory? 
The VerifEye 1500 supports a range of set up options. Each image
location can be "re-written" over one million times. In general, image
locations are only re-written when all other image space is full. This is
done on a "first in - first out" basis with the oldest images being
over-written first. 

Is it a video camera? 
The VerifEye 1500 uses a combination of analogue video and digital
storage technology. Camera modules utilise video technology. Images
captured on this video system are then converted to digital format for
storage, transmission, etc. 

How do you get an image out of the system? 
The VerifEye 1500 ships with a companion software application,
VerifEye WIN. Images are downloaded by connecting a PC running
VerifEye WIN to the Image Storage Controller. This can be done
with either a "hard wire" cable link or via a fixed line or radio modem
connection. In order to download images an image download cable is
required. This is available as an optional extra. 

I don't have a PC. How do I download the images? 
Where users of VerifEye 1500 purchase a unit individually and do not
have their own PC to facilitate image downloading, registered
downloaders are available in all markets. These registered
downloaders can supply both the connection to the Controller as well
as the PC faciliti.e.s needed to copy the images to disk and, if
required, print the images. Where larger scale installations are
mandated by a fleet or property management operator, the operator
will normally implement an image download procedure and supply all
required PC and printer equipment. 

Does it cost to "develop" the images? 
Remember all images are stored in the Image Storage Controller
digitally. This is the same format that all computer based images are
stored in. The only actual costs for generating a hard copy of an image
is the cost of paper and printer running costs. This is minimal
compared with either older style video tape or conventional film. In
some cases if you are utilising the services of a registered downloader
they may charge you for their time. Printing images should cost no
more than a few dollars if you are using a third party downloader. 

How do you print the image? 
Because VerifEye 1500 images are stored in standard computer
graphics format any Windows 95 capable graphics printer, e.g. HP
Deskjet, HP Laserjet or compatible can be used to print images. The
VerifEye WIN application offers a range of printing functions all
available from the standard Windows toolbar. 

Do I need a computer? And if so what type? 
A computer is required for two activiti.e.s. 

       Installation and configuration of the Controller. 
       Downloading and archiving images. 

If these two functions are being carri.e.d out by a third party, i.e. a
registered installer and/or a registered downloader then no computer
is required. If these activiti.e.s are being carri.e.d out by an end user
then a computer of the following minimum specification is required: 

       IBM compatible 486 or better 
       Minimum 16Mb of RAM 
       Hard disk size: This is dependent upon the number of images
     you wish to archive. As a minimum you would want 200Mb of
     free storage to hold the application and a reasonable number of
       VGA graphics adaptor or better 
       2 x RS232 ports. One of these is required for running your
     mouse, the second is connected to the image download cable 
       3.5" floppy disc drive or compatible (required for the
     installation of VerifEye WIN which is suppli.e.d in 3.5" disc

Is the unit fireproof? 
As standard the VerifEye 1500 Camera and Image Storage
Controller units are housed in heavy gauge metal. As a result they
offer reasonable protection against fire damage, however the units are
not currently fire rated for prolonged exposure to direct flame. 
Note: Fire rated option available on request. 

Do you need light to take images at night? (eg a light on in a
No, VerifEye 1500 Camera modules have an integrated Infra Red
illumination function. Night time shots are captured via Infra Red light. 

What happens if someone steals the camera head? 
The VerifEye 1500 is comprised of separate image capture facility
(Camera) and image storage facility (Controller). In a normal
installation the only visible part is the Camera Head, however images
are only captured, but not stored here. In order for a thi.e.f to remove
the images they would need to locate and remove the hidden Image
Storage Controller. 

Who installs the VerifEye 1500? 
The VerifEye 1500 is installed by a range of vertical market Each market (eg passenger service vehicles, taxis, mass
transit, buses, pleasure craft) have their own market specific installers.
A list of authorised installers is available on request. 

What is the warranty on the VerifEye 1500? 
The VerifEye 1500 comes with a 12 month "return to base" parts and
labour warranty. This means that any unit failing in the first 12 months
of operation will be replaced or repaired at no cost to the user. 

How much does the VerifEye 1500 cost? 
The VerifEye 1500 is available in a range of vertical market packs. As
a result of the different requirements that a taxi installation has in
comparison to a marine craft installation a general price for all
applications is not available. Pricing is also heavily dependent upon
market specific criteria such as import duti.e.s, shipping costs, local
taxes etc. In addition the VerifEye 1500 supports a range of flexible
configurations in terms of number of Cameras connected, memory
storage size and communications options. For pricing on your
application please call your nearest distributor. 

How much does it cost to install? 
Installation costs vary from market to market and are also dependant
on the exact configuration, for instance a three Camera installation will
be more expensive to install than a single Camera installation. As a
rule of thumb a single Camera installation should be carri.e.d out
within 1 to 1.5 hours maximum. Check with your installer for an
hourly rate. 

Does the VerifEye 1500 use film, and if so how often does it
need changing? 
The VerifEye 1500 does not use film, video tape, or hard disk to
store images. All images are stored in FLASH memory. This is just
like solid state computer memory except that when power is removed
it retains data. 

Have the pictures been used as legal evidence? 
Yes. When a VerifEye1500 image is captured a seri.e.s of legally
admissible image identification information markings are automatically
inserted into the image. These include time of day the image is
captured, the date upon which the image was captured, the unique
hardware suppli.e.d Image Storage Controller serial number, the
programmed Controller ID, eg vehicle registration identification. In
combination this information forms a legally admissible "chain of

Beyond the standard equipment suppli.e.d when VerifEye 1500
is ordered, is any additional equipment required? 
No. Everything required for an installation is available in the VerifEye
1500 shipping pack. The only components not suppli.e.d are PC and
image download cable. The image download cable is not suppli.e.d as
standard as normally images are being downloaded by a shared
procedure or via an authorised downloader. Additional Cameras and
IR illuminators can be ordered separately. 

Can I use any cable or length of cable for the download cable
from the Controller to the PC? 
No. The cables are suppli.e.d by the distributor as any other type of
cable may not fit the strict requirements of the VerifEye 1500. The
VerifEye 1500 is designed to meet both FCC and CE RFI emissions
and immunity standards. The cable subassembli.e.s form an integral
part of this design. 

Where does the Camera and Controller get installed in a
Because the physical characteristics of makes and models of
automobiles, vans, trucks vary greatly the location of both Camera
and Controller units vari.e.s widely. However in general the following
locations are utilised: 

       Larger Automobiles 
     Camera Head installed attached to windscreen above rear
     vi.e.w mirror, Controller installed either under dashboard or in
     car boot (trunk). 

       Small Automobiles 
     Camera Head installed attached to windscreen below rear
     vi.e.w mirror, Controller unit installed under driver"s seat or in
     boot (trunk). 

       Mass Transit Vehicles eg Buses and Trains 
     Cameras are generally mounted against a vertical or horizontal
     surface eg wall or ceiling. Special mounting brackets are
     available for this application. 

The Camera Head housing supports a range of lens and Camera
options ensuring that both wide angle and close up images can
captured and that complete coverage of the vehicle interior can be

What are the dimensions of the VerifEye 1500? 
The VerifEye 1500 is comprised of two subassembli.e.s, the Camera
Head unit which is visible and the Image Storage Controller unit which
is hidden. 

The Image Storage Controller unit measures 175mm x 95mm x 30mm
(slightly smaller than a VHS video tape). 

The Camera Head measures 105mm x 45mm x 45mm (similar in size
to a remote control automatic garage door opener). 

Related and source URL's


IC Logic  (VerifEye partner)

VerifEye Technologies Inc

Raywood Communications

Cabbie Cams Hit The Road
Pilot Program Tests Digital Cameras In NYC Taxis

Taxicab Related InterNet Links