5 ways how Smart Cameras will greatly improve public transport

Surveillance with security cameras is not just about security. Learn how cameras equipped with intelligent software can also help improve the customer experience at stations and airports.

improve security in public transportation

Wherever crowds of people come together, conventional video surveillance and human control reach their limits. This is where smart video systems in IoT come into play. The public transport sector has understood the potential of IoT and plans to invest heavily over the next few years.

83% of transport and logistics companies plan to increase their technology spendings. 

(Source: T-Systems Austria, PAC

We have discovered 5 areas in which intelligent security cameras in IoT can make public transport safer, more efficient and more customer-friendly.

1. Guide visitors in airports and railway stations

Finding one's way around the confusing buildings of airports and railway stations is a huge challenge for many passengers. If you've ever had to rush to your gate quickly in an airport, you know what we're talking about! The situation becomes particularly confusing when flights or trains are delayed or leave at different locations than planned.

To direct a crowd or individual visitors in a given direction, some devices in the IoT must work together. The process could be as follows: the software app on a surveillance camera uses video analysis to detect that many people are moving in the direction of a ticket counter where many other people are already waiting. To avoid this, the camera sends a signal to connected digital displays that inform visitors and guide them to alternative ticket counters.

In the following example, the system "just" shows visitors how long they have to wait at a checkpoint. This information allows visitors to choose which queue is best for them.


Source: Bosch Security and Safety Systems

What works at airports and train stations can also be applied to other areas, such as sports events or stadiums [whitepaper link]  where it is important to monitor and guide large numbers of visitors.

2. Reduce waiting times at ticket counters and checkpoints

Security checks at airports often lead to long waiting times for passengers and overload for staff when too many people have to be processed at once. The same applies to ticket counters in railway stations. Camera systems can help prevent jams and overloads by monitoring visitor traffic in real-time. If a queue gets too long, the system automatically gives instructions to staff or informs visitors via digital displays in the waiting area.

At Budapest Airport, for example, intelligent visitor management works with an existing camera system, that is equipped with smart software applications. Video data is analyzed in real-time so that waiting times can be predicted with 96 percent accuracy. These numbers are communicated via displays, for example, to direct visitors to other checkpoints. 

Avoiding waiting times increases customer satisfaction (and safety) and helps to plan staff and processes more efficiently.

Get to know more about our traffic management solutions.

3. Detect suspicious behavior in real-time

Governments push for security at railway and underground stations worldwide. This means that more and more public spaces will be surveilled through CCTV. For example, it is estimated that over 500K security cameras are located in London. 15,500 of these are located in the London Underground to help ensure safety for millions of passengers and reduce crime.

In other major cities, the numbers will be similar. However, modern cameras can do more than just deliver videos. Through software applications that run directly on the cameras, they are able to analyze people's behavior and movement patterns. If a person behaves suspiciously, cameras can immediately detect this and inform security to clarify the situation.

This video shows how movements deviate from "normal" patterns that can be detected by a security camera in real-time, ranging from minor disputes between people to vandalism at an ATM. 

Source: Vi Dimensions

4. Identify suspicious objects and unattended luggage

Just as security cameras can recognize faces and behavior patterns, they can also recognize all kinds of objects. For example, unattended luggage is a major issue for the prevention of terrorism in airports and railway stations. 

The surveillance of gates and platforms using conventional video surveillance reaches its limits here. Especially when scenes are crowded, it takes more than the human eye to detect suspicious objects. This is where smart camera systems, equipped with AI, come into play, helping to detect suspicious objects much faster and more reliable than humans can do.

5. Analyze and optimize processes and resources in real-time

In the above examples, smart security cameras help ensure security in airports and train stations and improve the customer experience for visitors and passengers. But technology can do even more: equipped with smart software, cameras in the IoT help to better plan and manage resources in real-time. This is made possible by the data that cameras provide.

Cameras equipped with video analytics can interpret data from videos for statistical purposes. This provides the management of airports or railway stations with useful information, for example on where processes or staffing should be improved, or where structural measures in buildings could improve the visitor experience.

This is just a small selection of applications that can improve security and visitor experience in airports and train stations. More to come…

Prepare for latest Technology to Improve your Business

The IoT will continue to disrupt public transportation. We recommend taking an incremental approach to remaining on the right side of this disruption. Planning and implementing your projects in small, predictable stages is crucial to getting the most out of your security cameras ‒ especially if you are new to new IoT technologies.

Learn more about how smart camera systems can help you achieve superior results for your customers' security and experience.

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