Data helps operators to monitor social distancing

UK-headquartered IT company Veovo has unveiled a new digital solution for the rail market. It allows the railway operators to monitor passenger flow at train stations and platforms as well as to prevent overcrowding and keep social distancing.

While the railway operators are gradually returning to their normal schedule after the coronavirus lockdown, the safety issues become more and more important. Among other things, they need to monitor the number of passengers at the stations, and data can help them with this task. The Passenger Density Management solution, which was developed by Veovo, is data-based but includes several other technologies.

“By combining data drawn from various sensor technologies, with advanced machine learning and intelligent automation, the solution gives operators a real-time, reliable overview of passenger volumes and movements. It shows how people move into, out of and between stations, average wait times, and even occupancy on trains,” Veovo states. As a result, the Passenger Density Management solution is able to monitor crowd density in specific areas of the stations including concourse, stairwell, platform and carriage. It also provides station-wide density and flow insights.

Risks and predictions

The digital solution monitors the risk level in real time by using live dashboards and heatmaps. It defines the possible risk in accordance with social distancing recommendations, crowd movement patterns and size of each location. “Alarms and actions are triggered when threshold limits are reached, enabling rapid responses, like directing passenger flows, closing turnstiles and updating digital signage, among others,” Veovo notes. The crowd monitoring could be useful for other purposes such as sanitation responsiveness.

Veovo’s Passenger Density Management solution for monitoring social distancing at train stations, source: Veovo

As with all of Veovo’s solutions, this one also includes predictive capabilities, that will help operators not only manage crowding in real time but also plan for days, weeks and even months ahead. It provides insights into people’s habits, how times of day, or day of the week, are affected differently, and understand passenger profiles better. With this data to hand, operators can even more efficiently tackle the long-standing issue of fare evasion.

Moreover, the railway operators are able to share the received data with their passengers to inform them about overcrowding in some parts of a train station. As a result, travellers could plan alternative routes. The sharing is possible via websites, apps and other platforms. It is worth to add that the Passenger Density Management solution is quick to deploy and does not require from operators to change their work schedule to implement the innovation.

Experience at airports

Before offering a new solution to the rail market, Veovo has been working with the airport industry for several years. It developed a package of software that helps the airport operators in their everyday activities. For instance, the Airport Operational Database allows them to collect data about flights and airlines. The BlipTrack solution is able to measure, optimise and even predict passenger flow in the airport terminals. Veovo’s portfolio includes the digital solutions for resource planning, real-time billing and other opportunities.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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