MTC partnering on railway security project
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MTC partnering on railway security project

Project aims to reduce station incidents caused by unsuitable behaviour

The pioneering Manufacturing Technology Centre near Coventry has partnered with intelligent video experts One Big Circle to develop a safety system which can spot anti-social behaviour or emergency incidents on station platforms.

The project - named Project DETER - could be in line for funding through the Network Rail Small Business Research Initiative competition.

The competition was launched to enhance safety and reduce delays created by station incidents such as unusual, unsuitable or undesirable behaviour. The MTC-OBC consortium was awarded a place in phase one of the competition to build and test a system on pre-recorded video data from Network Rail stations.

The consortium has now been successful in reaching the second round as one of two winners, after competing against seven other organisations across the UK. Phase two of the funding competition sees Project DETER being deployed in a real life environment.

Project DETER (crowD bEhaviour and object dEtection for Railway station security) uses the MTC’s research and development capability and cutting edge IT infrastructure alongside OBC’s data capture and video analysis technology – AIVR – in the development of a "behaviour engine."  The project uses machine learning to identify unusual behaviour and suspicious objects. Once detected, the system will automatically raise alerts for station staff and enable timely and appropriate responses to ensure passenger and staff safety. 

In phase two of the competition, the project team will be given access to stations, to live CCTV data feeds and to Network Rail’s telecoms resource. This will enable the team to create real time data-driven alerts for loitering, undesirable incidents and crowd density.

The MTC and OBC team brings a blend of research and practical applications in a rail and real world environment. The team combines a breadth of knowledge in video analysis and applied research expertise on AI methods with a deep understanding of web-based architecture.

Paulino Rocher, MTC technical liaison, said:

“We’re looking forward to working on the next phase of this project with One Big Circle to drive safety at train stations of all sizes. The MTC has a skilled team of data scientists that, in combination with OBC’s architecture and infrastructure design and software implementation capability, can really bring this project to life.”

OBC co-founder Emily Kent said:

“We are excited to be partnering with the MTC on this project to improve safety and security for passengers and staff on railway platforms.  As a UK SME, combining our advanced technology with the expert knowledge and research capacity of the MTC has huge benefits. This will ensure we help meet the challenges faced by the rail industry, advance our growth in the industry and ultimately create more jobs and opportunities.”

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