Transit agency pilots gun detection tech
Philadelphia’s SEPTA will test an AI-based video analytics solution that aims to reduce gun-related violence on train platforms.
The Philadelphia area’s public transit authority will be the first major transportation system to deploy gun detection technology in its existing IP security cameras.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) announced last month it will pilot an artificial intelligence-based video analytics platform, which already is used by public and private organizations, including schools, across 30 states.
The ZeroEyes software identifies brandished guns caught on camera and alerts the firm’s security monitoring team. Once the gun is positively identified, the information is then forwarded to public safety officials within three to five seconds.
All detections are monitored in the ZeroEyes operations center to deliver accurate intelligence on any gun-related incidents to law enforcement, including on a gunman’s appearance, clothing, the weapon brandished and real-time location. The system does not deploy facial recognition technology, nor does it record or store images or videos of anyone.
SEPTA has 30,000 cameras in Philadelphia and four outlying counties in Pennsylvania. For this pilot, ZeroEyes will be deployed along two of its rapid transit subway lines. SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards said the agency will “consider” deploying ZeroEyes elsewhere if it proves to be successful.
With violent crimes increasing on public transit systems across the United States, the Philadelphia area has seen a leveling off after a big jump between 2019 and 2021.
SEPTA Board President Pasquale T. Deon Sr. said in a statement that the partnership with ZeroEyes shows the agency’s “proactive approach to security.” The agency is also increasing its uniformed police presence, having outreach specialists engage with vulnerable members of the community, creating a virtual patrol center to monitor its network of surveillance cameras, giving custodians cell phones to facilitate direct communication with police and promoting an app to let riders report issues anonymously and discreetly.
In 2019, Zeroeyes was selected to participate in the 5G First Responder Lab’s innovation program that provided promising technology companies access to 5G technology to develop, test and refine their solutions for public safety.
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