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Cisco has created a video analytics tool that, according to iothub.com, promises to help public transportation operators understand the nature of their passengers and their usage habits. The system first trialed during the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress last year and showcased at Cisco Live this year, works by using video surveillance and machine learning to count passengers and estimate their age and genders. The original trial placed the technology at four tram stops around Melbourne and on a tram itself.
Simon Young, industry advisor for energy and transportation in Cisco’s digital transformation group: “We used machine learning to detect people, which for us is a very challenging use case. How do you count people when there are lots of them in a confined area? Using machine learning, we’re able to not only count them but perform a basic level of identification.”
Although the trial only ran for the duration of ITS World Congress, it allowed the company to demonstrate its capabilities in the video analytics and data aggregation space. “We were able to show how important it is to aggregate data and really get value out of pulling together lots of different data sources,” Young said. “We’re starting to see customers wanting to pull data together from multiple sources, do it securely, quickly, and use the aggregated data to make decisions and present them in a user-friendly manner.”
He added that the trialed technology could be applied across multiple modes of transport, allowing for better insight across the different travel options available to customers.
“Once the data is aggregated, you can start to do a lot of other things, like understand how weather affects transport” he explained. “From a passenger experience point of view, you can introduce simplicity and efficiency by providing tram stop notifications that certain carriages are full and to use the ones with available space instead.”
According to Cisco, no upcoming trials are planned for the near future, but the development of the platform continues today within the company’s digital transformation group.