Transforming Metro and Railways with Video Analytics: Improving Safety, Security, and Efficiency

When it comes to using public transport, especially at crowded transport hubs, things can often go wrong. This equally applies to passengers, operational teams, and to the very structure of the transportation system. As more and more people use public transport every year, transport systems become overburdened and congested, which in turn creates more potential problems for all parties involved.

Getting separated from your kids in a crowded metro station during rush hour is every parent’s nightmare. So is losing a bag with your belongings: documents, credit cards and car keys. Accidents and even acts of terrorism can occur within the transport system itself. Many people experienced one or another type of incident while using public transport.

So, what can be done to improve the performance of transport systems while ensuring enhanced public safety and managing flows? Video analytics can be a powerful tool for improving safety, security, and operational efficiency in metro and railway systems. AI-based Smart Сity platforms are excellent critical infrastructure managers that help big cities not only monitor security and dramatically reduce crime rate, helping investigate incidents and responding to challenges in the most urgent manner, but also to ensure a comfortable stay for citizens and numerous city visitors. Nowadays, the use of such systems is increasingly found in more non-trivial areas.
Metro and railway operators can use video analytics to monitor passenger behavior and identify areas of improvement, including train schedules, signage, wayfinding, and staffing levels. Additionally, video analytics can be helpful in investigating and understanding incidents such as train derailments or passenger injuries, as it provides valuable data that can help investigators comprehend what happened and why.
Here are some ways in which video analytics could be useful in this context:

  1. Security: Video analytics can be used to monitor stations, platforms, and trains in real-time, detecting potential security threats such as suspicious behavior, unattended bags, or unauthorized access. This can help security personnel respond more quickly and effectively to potential incidents.
  2. Crowd management: Video analytics can help track the flow of passengers and identify crowded areas, allowing metro and railway operators to better manage traffic and reduce congestion.
  3. Maintenance: Video analytics can be used to monitor infrastructure such as tracks, tunnels, and bridges, detecting any anomalies or signs of wear and tear. This can help maintenance teams identify potential issues before they become major problems, reducing downtime and improving safety.
  4. Operational efficiency: Video analytics can be used to monitor passenger behavior and patterns, helping operators better understand how people use the system and identify areas for improvement. This can include optimizing train schedules, improving signage and wayfinding, and better managing staffing levels.
  5. Incident response: In the event of an incident such as a train derailment or passenger injury, video analytics can provide valuable data to help investigators understand what happened and why. This can include footage from onboard cameras, station cameras, and platform cameras, as well as data on passenger movements and other relevant factors.

Overall, video analytics can be a valuable tool for metro and railway operators looking to improve safety, security, and operational efficiency. By harnessing the power of AI and machine learning, these systems can provide real-time insights that help operators make better decisions and provide a safer, more reliable experience for passengers.

IREX Ethical AI is deployed across some of the world's largest metro and railway networks, providing real-time alerts, video management, off-site storage, forensic searches, and virtual collaboration. Learn more about IREX contribution in railway’ infrastructure safety and passenger service: