Safety & Security in Transport

Patrik Anderson indentifies trends in incident management for public transport operators
We see both Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) and Video Management System (VMS) vendors offering professional incident management modules which integrate with modern network video camera systems. This development is underlined by a general trend to integrate previously separate systems such as fire detection, access control and video surveillance into a common security and safety system using network and IP technologies based on open standards.
Advanced video analytics can automatically detect incidents as they occur
Advanced video analytics, or intelligent video, is a technology area that has matured significantly and become more robust lately. Such capabilities can now be embedded directly into smart surveillance cameras. This enables the cameras to automatically alert the security center in cases of, for instance, unauthorized access at rail yards, bus depots or tunnels. As a result, the transit authorities can get early warnings for potential incidents such as graffiti, metal theft, sabotage or tunnel trespassing. Modern video analytics applications can be used in both very light sensitive cameras and thermal cameras, making them invaluable in very low-light conditions or even in complete darkness, around the clock.
IP-based video surveillance systems can stream live video to multiple users
A network-based video surveillance system is an ideal platform to distribute live video during an incident to first responders and incident coordinators to create a common operating picture of what is going on. This type of real-time information is valuable in helping remotely evaluate and prioritize the specific incident, allowing better and more effective management of resources and to implement an appropriate response.  When the security center and/or first responders receive an alarm – whether from a fire detector, security officer or a passenger in panic – they have to decide on what actions to take. With access to live video from the scene, it becomes much easier to make the right decisions regarding an appropriate response. This not only helps resolve the incident quicker, but also ensures that it is done as cost-effectively as possible.
As multiple video streams can be generated from one network camera the video quality can be adopted for mobile devices that are connected wirelessly. This is particularly helpful for responders driving to the incident location to understand how the scene develops, people involved etc. Additional responders can be called to the incident. There may be a medical emergency such as a man suffering a heart attack as well as a very crowded platform situation. Before responders arrive at the scene they can call upon the transport operator to ensure a rescue pathway is cleared by station personnel.
Public transport operators can upgrade older security systems in stages
When planning to upgrade older security systems, public transport operators should work towards a centralized security system with real-time capabilities, with the ultimate goal to connect the complete transit system to one central security center. This makes it possible to efficiently act on incidents as they occur. Such a system can be implemented incrementally, adding new stations, depots, fleets, etc. over time.
Public transport operators should steer away from proprietary solutions and instead invest in equipment based on open standards. This warrants a future-proof, scalable and cost-efficient solution. Modern network cameras provide crisp clear image quality in HDTV, even under very low-light conditions. This allows for quick visual identification of incidents and the appropriate resources deployed to address them. Image quality also plays a major role should video footage serve as evidence in court.
The latest advancements in video analytics enable early incident detection and can be a cost-efficient alternative to patrolling security guards. A modern incident management system can manage the whole incident lifecycle; from detection, prioritization, response, re-prioritization, investigation and follow-up.
Patrik Anderson is Director Business Development Transportation at Axis Communications