Tried and Tested: Can Open Source Boost CCTV into the 21st Century?

With funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, Zircon Software Ltd is working to find out whether security surveillance systems and associated analytics can work in a station environment without disrupting the rail network. To achieve this, Zircon are planning to utilise advanced video analytics, taking functional open source Machine Learning libraries wrapped in bespoke software, to boost the efficiency of established CCTV systems.

Though cameras produce streams of data while filming, the systems that sit behind them need modernising to keep up with the video capability that large scale CCTV operations can offer. Currently, video data is used as additional support for incidents that are witnessed on location. The Innovate UK challenge aims to develop a system capable of automatically detecting potential passenger/rail safety issues, intending to enhance manual control room activities and station security and safety as a whole. The vision is to have video data inform control room operators of potential problems as and even before they occur.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, Zircon engineers have begun the process of engineering a bespoke statistical analytics engine that will pull together some of the best open-source tools from successful Machine Learning projects, such as TensorFlow. Instead of imitating a Harry Potteresque invisibility cloak with this technology as the TensorFlow.js team have done, these technologies will be utilised to raise alerts and reports on behaviours such as loitering, abandoned objects and crowd trend analysis.

Zircon is expecting that the utilisation of successful open-source software and other suitable toolsets will greatly reduce the time required to bring a prototype into a reality, and will reliably reduce response times for dealing with incidents.

Though specific to the rail centre, there is some excitement surrounding the outcome of this challenge and its potential implications for other industry sectors with control room environments.

About the Competition

The SBRI programme uses the power of government procurement to drive innovation. It provides opportunities for innovative companies to engage with the public sector and gain contracts to solve specific problems. Competitions for new technologies and ideas are run on specific topics and aim to engage a broad range of organisations.

Two new SBRIs have been announced to drive efficiency and safety in the rail industry. Network Rail will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £3m to address two of the objectives identified in Network Rail’s CP6 funding strategy for research and development:

  1. Automated tunnel examination
  2. Security surveillance analytics for stations

Zircon has won a place in the competition to develop a security surveillance analytics solution for stations.

This is the first phase of a 2-phase competition. In the first phase, companies are expected to develop and demonstrate their analytics system using pre-recorded data.

About Zircon Software Ltd

Founded in 2000, Zircon Software provides software engineering consultancy and development services to clients across industries that are characterised by the use of high availability/safety-critical systems and applications.

Our main focus is on helping our clients navigate their way through the process of developing their software products, regardless of whether they be embedded, PC or Cloud based, via our four key service areas:

  • Helping to build robust software solutions
  • Providing advice on how to improve software development capabilities
  • Assisting with the capture and recording of requirements
  • Helping clients ensure that their software products are built correctly according to specifications.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.

For further information visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk.

More From The Blog

TIDS Progress Update – Live Platform Testing

TIDS Progress Update – Live Platform Testing

TIDS Progress Update - Live Platform TestingSince the last update back in July, we are pleased to announce that the TIDS hardware has successfully been installed onsite at the first of our trial stations. For the next 5 months, the TIDS system will remain in place to...

Improving Rail Safety With Autonomous Trespass Detection

Improving Rail Safety With Autonomous Trespass Detection

Improving Rail Safety With Autonomous Trespass DetectionNetwork Rail and Innovate UK released the Innovation in Railway platform end and edge technology funding call through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRi) in December 2019. It is known that trespass on...

Armed Forces Day 2019

Armed Forces Day 2019

Armed Forces Day 2019Armed Forces Day 2019 is rapidly approaching, and Zircon is pleased to announce that we are proud supporters of this years National Event. Hosted in Salisbury and running over the course of three days, 28th to 30th June, it is anticipated that...

End Of Year

End Of Year

End Of YearWith the end of 2018 drawing closer, it is an opportunity to reflect upon all that has happened this year and look forward to what 2019 will bring. This year has been a strong year for Zircon, as we continue to grow both in our customer base and our staff...

Another Year Over – 2017 From The Eyes Of Zircon

Another Year Over – 2017 From The Eyes Of Zircon

Another Year Over - 2017 From The Eyes Of ZirconAs we approach the end of 2017 I would like, as is the tradition for these things, to take a look back over the year at Zircon Software.  This has been my first full year heading the company and one that has proven to be...

Zircon Examines Drag Detection At The PTI

Zircon Examines Drag Detection At The PTI

Zircon Examines Drag Detection At The PTI Earlier this month Rome’s metro system was abruptly thrown into the spotlight after a female passenger was dragged along a platform after sensors failed to detect that her bag strap had become trapped in the door of the train....

Zircon HMI Displayed At Connected Vehicle Conference

Zircon HMI Displayed At Connected Vehicle Conference

Zircon HMI Displayed At Connected Vehicle ConferenceLast week our MD, David Owen, attended the connected vehicle conference in Newcastle. During the course of the event Newcastle City Council displayed a video, as can be seen below, of the Gosforth Corridor trial of...