The Journey to Create Safer, Smarter Transit Systems

June 19, 2019 | Posted by

When most travelers think of transportation safety, airport security immediately comes to mind. The image of checkpoints filled with winding lines of people and explosive-detecting canines sniffing at carry-on bags is one travelers know well. However, other transportation hubs such as railway and rapid transit stations face similar challenges when it comes to security and therefore must deploy solutions that create safer, smarter environments for passengers.

The increased presence of terrorist groups and copycats around the world has added to the urgency of establishing protection through enhanced security protocols and increased the public pressure for security improvements in the transportation industry. With the Travel and Security Administration (TSA) estimating more than 12 million passengers utilizing train transportation every day in the United States, the need to comprehensively protect travelers and staff is critical.

Working with a number of large transit systems, Pivot3 helps to provide solutions that ensure the highest level of security for metro/train stations. In most of its deployments, Pivot3 intelligent infrastructure is used to power comprehensive video systems with thousands of cameras and other technologies such as video analytics, access control and emergency communication tools, facilitating high availability and resiliency to all systems.

The increased use of video surveillance cameras is also leading to more data, with transit authorities searching for ways to use this information for better insight, detection and situational awarenessAs camera counts continue to grow, so does the use of video analytics, but the industry needs solutions that improve accuracy and performance to make these analytics useful. New technologies like machine learning, GPU acceleration and vector-based software algorithms have the potential to vastly improve accuracy and enable analytics to allow transit systems to make continued operational improvements. 

Aside from making systems safer, transit stations are also full of technology that can be leveraged to make them smarter. Some examples include gunshot detection systems, people tracking, thermal detection, building automation, access control, facial recognition and emergency communications. And today, these many different technologies can be integrated to facilitate new levels of situational awareness and security intelligence for the transportation industry. For example, transit authorities can leverage real-time suspect identification and tracking throughout a hub, leading to a faster and more informed incident response. 

Ensuring the safety and security of passengers has always been a major concern for transit systems operators, and as the transit hub environment changes, so will security needs. But, by utilizing intelligent infrastructure and video surveillance data in everything from monitoring passenger safety incidents to reducing queue lengths, operators have the ability to create safer, smarter transit systems.

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