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Drag detection algorithm targets platform safety


Software specialist and ITS (UK) member Zircon has successfully demonstrated a ‘drag detection algorithm’ which could be used to keep passengers safe at the ‘platform train interface’ (PTI) at rail stations.

Within the last year the company has been experimenting with a number of video analysis techniques aimed at improving the level of safety at the PTI by analysing CCTV footage in real time.

“The platform train interface is by far one of the most dangerous areas that will be encountered by passengers as they travel, being responsible for five passengers fatalities in the UK during the 2015/16 year alone,” the company says.

As the number of passenger journeys continue to increase each year these risks will only be aggravated further, which is why finding a potential solution has never been as vital, it adds.

In July the issue was thrown into the spotlight by an incident on Rome’s metro system which saw a female passenger dragged along the platform after sensors failed to detect that her bag strap had become trapped in the door of the train.

“After hearing about the incident in Rome we were interested to see what would happen if we were to put the captured footage through our detection algorithm,” the company says. A successful demonstration of the algorithm and its application to the incident can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbRt0RhtdSw

“We have previously run a number of tests, under lab conditions, on old footage from online sources, but to be able to show our solution working as expected on footage of a current incident has proved that our solution is something we can be confident in,” Zircon concluded.

Photo: N i c o l a / Creative Commons