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AI expands capabilities of surveillance and public safety tech

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping cities extract more value from the vast amounts of data from traffic cameras, police body cams and private CCTV, says report.

Public safety technology is being enhanced with more real-time capabilities

Video management platforms, equipped with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, are vastly expanding capabilities in the area of urban surveillance and public safety, according to research. The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred the use of technologies, such as crowd monitoring, which ABI Research believes are here to stay. It adds that other developments in urban surveillance from live video feeds to bodycams, will be assisted by the introduction of 5G. Rise in CCTV In its report, Urban Surveillance Technologies and Public Safety Strategies, global technology intelligence firm, ABI Research, forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 11.6 per cent with 1.4 billion closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras in urban areas worldwide in 2030. “Currently, the main use of CCTV in public safety is to aid authorities to solve crimes retroactively,” said Lindsey Vest, smart cities and smart spaces research analyst at ABI Research. “Now, with the advances in AI and its ability to monitor data and activity its ability to assist in real-time situations will be enhanced.

“We are seeing an increase in the real-time benefits from surveillance with the help of AI and its ability to, for example, highlight suspicious behaviour, monitor crowd numbers, and identify unattended luggage”

“Furthermore, CCTV cameras have been used to generate revenue, especially with road traffic fines. There has been a marked increase in the interest in video management tools and other smart city platforms to help cities and organisations make use of the data that is currently available to them.” Cities currently have access to vast amounts of data from traffic cameras, police body cams, private CCTV, and many other sources that it can be difficult for them to get the value from this data.


“We are seeing an increase in the real-time benefits from surveillance with the help of AI and its ability to, for example, highlight suspicious behaviour, monitor crowd numbers, and identify unattended luggage,” said Vest. ABI highlights companies like Quantela and Milestone Software as having developed video management services that help enable city officials monitor their data more efficiently. Other uses for urban surveillance advances are emerging from dashcams and bodycams.

“There has been a marked increase in the interest in video management tools and other smart city platforms to help cities and organisations make use of the data that is currently available to them”

It also notes that advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle vision technology developer Mobileye recently partnered with Ordnance Survey in the UK to assist with mapping assets. The data gathered can be used by utility companies and authorities to map underground and surface assets for maintenance and public safety. “Urban surveillance has been a key part of public safety technology for decades. Although it is not without its controversies, it remains a popular and growing sector,” added Vest.

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