Safe City Video Technology Can Improve Mobility
More than 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, which will increase to 68% by 2050. Burgeoning city sizes will strain cities, particularly on traffic, transportation, and mobility. However, by embracing the development of safe cities, today’s leaders can build an infrastructure that delivers both safety and security for the future.
Data is Improving City Living
Safe cities, as they have come to be known, leverage connectivity and IoT devices to collect and share information to obtain data, utilize predictive analytics, and develop real-time responses and emergency procedures. This information helps city governments, law enforcement, and even public stakeholders, such as business owners, work together to protect citizens and improve their daily lives.
An essential part of any flourishing, safe city is video surveillance. Video technology allows city authorities to improve safety across the board—from video security and situational awareness to crowd management and predictive analytics. An open platform solution like Milestone System’s XProtect® video management software (VMS) can connect law enforcement, emergency services, security operators, and business owners so that they can respond to incidents as quickly as possible.
Benefits Beyond Security
Video surveillance can provide various benefits beyond security to deliver a safe city. Video and information from a network of cameras around a city can improve operations in other vital areas such as traffic, transportation, and mobility. Because the price tag is always a concern when investing in technology, law enforcement and other departments like public works and emergency management can share the cost of a camera network and VMS.
Video surveillance cameras near streets and intersections can provide data about traffic patterns, allowing city planners valuable insight into how to make needed improvements. For example, perhaps many illegal U-turns are happening in an intersection. Traffic planners can learn from watching the activity and developing solutions to combat the negative effect.
Analysis of Video Using Artificial Intelligence
Intelligent tools like Milestone’s XProtect Rapid REVIEW enable fast searches based on an expanding suite of analytic search filters across multiple cameras so users can quickly find the evidence they need. In addition, XProtect Rapid REVIEW can isolate all of the U-turns at that particular intersection, giving planners the context they can use to justify installing an additional traffic light.
XProtect Rapid REVIEW can also quickly identify and notify authorities of any vehicle that remains stationary in a traffic lane beyond a preset parameter. This tool can help operators quickly answer some questions:
- Has the car broken down?
- Has the driver had a medical emergency?
- Is there an immediate threat to citizens and first responders?
If the vehicle remains stationary, the program can notify an officer or a transportation department representative to check on it and remove it if necessary, so it does not hold up traffic.
Getting Around the City
Parking is an area that can always use improvements. Intelligent video technology can save people time and lessen traffic congestion in parking areas. In addition, video analytics can improve parking management by monitoring parking spots and conveying availability. For example, if someone sees a sign outside of a parking lot that shows 25 spaces are available, they will know it’s worth their time to enter and search for a spot. However, if there are only three spots available, the driver knows that it’s better to move on to a different lot. Systems like this deliver efficient parking management and more driver satisfaction since they are not wasting time driving through parking lots already at capacity.
For a city to be safe, it has to offer seamless mobility. Those wanting to drive, bike, or walk from one side of town to the other expect to do so safely. But cities can continually improve mobility, and video-sourced data and analytics can help. For example, analytics can identify patterns and trends to improve traffic flows, relieve congestion in transport hubs, etc. Furthermore, technology can aid in enhancing walking routes. Analytics that use heat mapping, for example, have been used to study the natural flow of pedestrians and their walking paths throughout a city, which gave planners the perfect location to put sidewalks.
All cities do what they can to prepare for emergencies, but video surveillance can provide tools to help better manage awareness and response. Take roadways that are prone to flooding, for example. Sensors that measure water levels can alert authorities that roads are becoming impassable. Video verification supplements this information. In addition, operators can monitor evacuation routes and traffic flow during emergencies, giving city managers the power to evaluate the success or failure of real-time responses.
City Growth Needs an Action Plan
As cities grow, traffic, transportation, and mobility systems will experience additional stressors. Therefore, it’s essential to build a foundation that can withstand the added pressures and deliver a seamless experience for residents. By taking advantage of advances in video surveillance and analytics, law enforcement, city governments, and the public can work together to deliver safe cities.
If you’d like to learn more about Milestone’s recommendations for cities, please visit our Safe City page on our website, or reach out to one of our security experts to schedule a demo to learn about XProtect VMS and XProtect Rapid REVIEW.