Elevating the Transportation Network with Video Technology

By Sandesh Kaup, Country Manager, Milestone Systems, India and SAARC

The pandemic rendering abandoned streets and marketplaces have had an enormous toll on the transportation industry. With regular operations all but completely disrupted, the impact of which are still fresh have affected the long-term financial viability of the entire network. Transportation leaders have been working relentlessly to rebuild the trust lost, prioritizing passenger safety, and above all taking precautions for social distancing and containing the outbreak.

With the gradual waning of the virus, people are gradually going back to traveling. As crowds once again move around, it is imperative for the transportation industry to consider every measure to create an environment apt for this new normal. Security measures such as social distancing, mask compliance, sanitizing stations, managing queuing, etc. are not going to be written out any time soon. Technologically driven intelligent solutions will be a major contributor in rebranding the industry at scale and video technology will be at the helm of this transformation.

According to 6WResearch, the Indian video surveillance market size by revenues is projected to grow at a strong CAGR of 17.8% during 2021-27. A robust Video Management Software (VMS) solution can be utilitarian above and beyond the necessary measures incited by the pandemic and video surveillance in general. Given the advancements in technology, video can be incorporated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to empower businesses to deliver reliable, scalable, and future-proof products.

Improving Transport with Video Intelligence

The power of video-based solutions has been glaringly visible in the transportation industry. The use of cameras has become a mainstream surveillance tool, but with the introduction of AI, it has been transformed into an accident prevention tool for this industry.

Integrated with Information and Communication Technology (ICT), video equipment can contribute to effective traffic management, quick resolution of traffic violation, reduced accident rates and improved compliance. These systems provide intelligent traffic monitoring with complete identification of vehicles by reading license plates, classifying them into categories and estimating their speed. It also allows the detection of anomalous situations, such as congestions, and sudden road blocks.

The Indian Railways have accelerated their use of IP-based CCTV cameras as part of the Indian Railways project. This covers all categories of stations with around 5,000 railway stations that will be covered on an optical fiber cable network with a centralized control room at zonal and divisional levels where footage will be analyzed. Video footage from IP cameras for instance can provide a thorough understanding of crowd control, people counting, heat mapping, crowd behavior and abnormalities in standard patterns, etc.

VMS for Smarter Roads
An intelligent and open VMS solution is crucial to the transportation industry because it generates the video data that then turns into actionable insights. With video analytics software, real-time alerts can be set up to indicate any unusual behavior and automatically alert the parties involved.

Video-based sensors can be integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning to turn a live video feed into a smart sensor and alerting the system that can help ensure safety on the road by analyzing and identifying trends at both a macro and micro level.

It can help detect and identify risks; it can recognize visual anomalies and deliver instant actionable insights. Video data can also be used to identify any congestion / problematic patterns and proactive measures can be deployed to alleviate those expected and unexpected concerns. Dedicated algorithms can be utilized to investigate near-miss incidents. Considering how the processing capabilities of video equipment is changing with the advent of AI, IoT, Machine Learning (ML) AND 5G, it will become possible to reliably distinguish objects, count people, detect crowds, estimate occupancy, analyze passenger demographics, and track their movements for statistical analysis.

A good VMS solution also allows authorized users remote access of video, saving both time and money.

An Open VMS Platform Is The Way To Go
An open VMS platform allows the addition of custom, best-in-class security solutions, such as access control, cameras, and video analytics and is not bound to a specific hardware or software provider (camera manufacturer or video analytics company).

It can analyze, assess, and respond to data, events, and images it inside via intelligent cameras. These cameras can be seamlessly integrated with video management systems to detect individual risks and interpret and highlight security issues. Sensor technology can be added to the video management system to recognize visual security breaches such as abandoned packages or suspicious behavior. Face Recognition software-where permitted- can count and understand the number of people in an area to provide the appropriate security and guidance to crowds.

Open-platform video technology enables authorities to easily integrate existing systems across multiple zones, allowing all authorized users access to the same video data when necessary, so matters can be addressed before they potentially escalate.

Advanced video technology is paying an important contribution to meet those demands, because they give the transportation operators a 360-degree view of what is going on. By harnessing video data, the transportation industry can increase real-time situational awareness to drive immediate response; rapidly investigate incidents and crimes; and identify and understand relevant trends over time to increase security and efficiency.

This seamless integration of different technologies to a unified open VMS enables different departments of transportation agencies to efficiently connect, communicate, and share information, saving costs and more importantly, saving lives.

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