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IP video for operators

Most, 85pc of transport networks across Western Europe are planning to install IP cameras in the near future. That’s according to a recent survey commissioned by Axis Communications, the network video and audio product company, with the public transport body The Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP).

IP video is also increasingly in use in the UK’s rail network, such as the deployment of network cameras at Canary Wharf Station. This helped the station facilitate 24-hour rail operations and improve passenger safety.

Axis says that the shift to IP video surveillance is helping operators use real-time analytics to enhance decision making, ranging from common platform changes to the more infrequent scenarios, such as a station clearance in response to a security or other emergency. For example, machine learning is helping turn vast transport surveillance infrastructures into live monitoring systems. This software identifies what is ‘normal’ activity within a scene, automatically creating an alert if ‘abnormal’ activity is recognised.

However, despite this migration trend, the UK has struggled to keep pace with developments, the survey suggests. Although 97.3pc of survey respondents said they had some degree of video surveillance installed, 66pc cited either other priorities, funding difficulties, or no clear business case as the main barriers for not investing in more IP. Interestingly, about 75pc of those who responded no clear business case relied on outdated analogue equipment for their surveillance.

Lucas Young, pictured, Business Development Manager, Transportation, Axis Communications says: “These results are incredibly important. The perceived lack of a business case highlights that many transport operators are unaware of the security and efficiency benefits real-time video surveillance can offer. To respond to security events as and when they happen; a proactive rather than reactive approach is required. That just isn’t possible with legacy CCTV equipment.

“When analysing security footage in real-time with advanced IP technology, operators are faced with hundreds of live feeds. This may seem daunting, but automated alerts can assist in managing the increased amount of data real-time video creates, helping to identify potential threats as they happen, preventing them from becoming security incidents. This is also freeing up staff time, so they can concentrate on improving the passenger experience.

“While the benefits of connecting once offline technologies to a network creates an array of benefits for transport networks, it is also important to note that all devices connected to the internet are potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack. Cybersecurity is a huge issue for the transport industry and could prove a costly oversight if technology is not implemented correctly. We aim to protect our transport networks not only from physical threats, but also online ones.”

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