On a day-to-day operational level, camera feeds overlaid with occupancy counters could measure the number of people on a concourse or travelling on a train. This could be used to inform staffing levels in stations and timetables, particularly as people return to work and passenger numbers fluctuate. Similarly, it could be used to support social distancing measures, for as long as those remain in place.
Occupancy counters set up in football stadiums are aiding social distancing efforts and helping event leaders understand the optimum number of seats in a given space. Similar applications can be found for rail operations teams looking to optimize seating in a train while adhering to public health measures.
For greater accessibility support, for example for wheelchair users, a video system could pick up when a passenger will require more support at their destination and alert station staff beforehand to ensure the set up of a ramp and be available to guide the passenger on arrival.
Audio sensors on a platform could also pick up aggressive or unusual behaviour that requires security or local police intervention. This improves safety for station staff and passengers, particularly in quieter stations. Video and audio feeds can also be integrated with local or transport police systems for proactive intervention and to collect evidence if criminal proceedings are undertaken. This can act as a deterrent against anti-social behaviour, pickpocketing, vandalism and other crimes.
Investing in an open video solution will counter some of the practical barriers to implementing video analytics, surveillance solutions, IoT technology and other emerging tools. Concerns around bandwidth and connectivity, for instance, can be addressed by limiting the amount of bandwidth used by on-site devices and instead, distributed to a control room via the cloud.
This article was originally published in RailBusinessDaily.com.