AI Monitors Pedestrians Social Distancing
Major UK cities use AI scanners to gather data on social distancing.
10:31 12 October 2020
Major UK cities including Manchester and London are now using AI scanners to monitor how close pedestrians get to each other to gather data on social distancing.
The AI scanners, which were initially installed to track traffic flow, were fitted with the new feature following the coronavirus lockdown. Vivacity, the AI scanners' manufacturer, assured pedestrians that the technology is solely used to inform policy decisions and that none of the footage is saved, streamed or used for enforcement purposes.
CEO Peter Mildon said:' They are not recording any footage, they are not streaming any footage and no one is actually watching it,'
'We've trained an algorithm to be able to recognise what a pedestrian looks like as opposed to a cyclist or a van or truck.
'We're creating a set of statistics on how behaviour is changing in terms of how people are staying close together or apart.
'And it is that data that is then useful for informing policy decisions on whether there should be a two metre rule or a one metre plus rule or whether local lockdown measures are having the impact they are envisioned to.'
Mr Mildon added: 'Even if Kent Council wanted to use them for enforcement purposes they wouldn't be able to
'The [cameras] enable us to provide anonymous data on how the road is being used. There are huge benefits in understanding how that space is being used and how that can be improved or how it can be made safer.
'The idea is to provide an evidence base to check that the interventions that are being put in and are having the policy benefits that the council envisioned in the first place.'