Cloud-Based Video Surveillance: Benefits for Train Operators

To comply with increasingly stringent regulations in the rail industry, more and more train operators are investing in cloud-based video surveillance.

Driven by the quickly increasing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI), such systems offer a range of possibilities that help to ensure on-board safety and improve the overall passenger experience.

Televic GSP's Cloud-Based Video Surveillance System

What Happens on Board, Stays on Board

Some 10 to 15 years ago, new trains were often equipped with analogue video surveillance systems. A video recorder – a black box with storage capacity – was installed in the train and connected to all onboard cameras.

Though a step in the right direction to ensure safety on trains, there was also a major challenge for train operators: how to access the video footage anytime, anywhere?

Man sleeping on train

For instance, if a crime occurred on a train, the police would need evidence to charge the criminal. To obtain this evidence, the operator had to identify which train the crime took place on and where this train was located at that time. They then had to send someone to manually open the recorder and retrieve the memory.

This process is expensive, time-consuming, and complex, especially given the varying retention periods and data protection regulations in different countries.

Switch to Cloud-Based Video Surveillance

Today, many train operators are switching to cloud-based video surveillance. This gives them remote access to the video footage and eliminates the need for someone to physically retrieve the recorder, saving time and reducing costs.

What’s more, the camera footage is automatically uploaded to a secure environment, which often has redundant backups, ensuring that the data is not lost due to hardware failures or other technical issues.

Artificial Intelligence as a Gamechanger

machine vision

While in the past, railway companies often had to manually analyse the data, nowadays, they are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to look for specific events of interest. In fact, AI introduces several interesting capabilities for train operators when it comes to video surveillance and analysis.

Post-event Search

  • Before, operators had to plough through hours of footage to find a single event. With AI, identifying and finding events footage is way faster and more efficient. In this way, hours of scrolling through irrelevant footage can be reduced to a few minutes.

Preventive Analytics

  • Litter in the hallway, malfunctioning lights or doors, a passenger damaging the train… AI can identify all kinds of potential issues, so operators can quickly intervene and solve them.

Trip Monitoring

  • Finally, AI also collects data on trip duration, boarding and alighting locations, passenger profiles, etc., allowing operators to gain insight into passenger behaviour and tailor their services to the needs of the travellers.

This article was originally published by Televic GSP.

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