22 Aug Passengers in focus
Amin Haj Salem, Key Account Manager – End Customer, Axis Communications, looks at how video and connected technology are transforming public transport.
For many years, public transport authorities (PTAs) and service providers have used video surveillance to help improve safety and security throughout their operations. But these days, those same systems can do so much more. With advancements in both artificial intelligence and the processing capability of modern cameras, it is now possible to deploy video solutions with advanced deep learning analytics that can reliably distinguish objects, count people, detect crowds, estimate occupancy, analyse passenger demographics, and track their movements for statistical analysis.
Insights to improve passenger comfort and confidence
All of this video metadata can be transformed into actionable intelligence for PTAs and service providers – both intelligence that informs long-term service and future infrastructure planning, plus real-time actionable intelligence for today’s public transport networks. And these types of video analytics are already being used to improve passenger comfort and services today.
For example, transportation authorities and companies can improve passenger comfort and satisfaction on their double-decker buses by providing travellers with vehicle occupancy information derived from specialised cameras with sensors for counting passengers. When required, messaging, signage or push notifications can then recommend upper-level seating for optimised passenger distribution.
Insights to optimise efficiency and on-time performance
Passenger insights can also be used to minimise service disruptions and improve overall efficiency. Disruptions are not only costly for service providers, but they increase travel time for passengers and impact traffic congestion on city streets.
Yet maintaining a steady flow of vehicles to meet current and predicted passenger occupancy levels is not an easy job. It requires careful planning, precision timing and efficient passenger boarding to maintain on-time performance. However, using the insights derived from video analytics on board rolling stock, PTAs and service providers can provide passengers at the next stop with real-time occupancy information. This can be used to guide them to the train carriages with available seating, as well as spaces for wheelchairs or strollers. This insight saves precious time and keeps service rolling on schedule.
Insights to inform urban mobility planning – today and tomorrow
Passenger insights can do even more than provide real-time situational awareness and optimise on-time performance. By sharing these insights more broadly with other smart city stakeholders, urban planners and transport providers can ensure sufficient taxi, scooter, or bicycle availability for ‘last-mile’ transport.
And it’s only the beginning. New technology and insights will continue to drive the transformation of public transport – increasing ridership and improving urban mobility both today, and for the future.