T he transportation industry affects everyone’s daily routine. Over 11 billion trips are taken each year on public transit in the United States — more than 16 times the number of trips taken yearly in domestic air travel. With the massive amount of travelers each year comes emerging security challenges, such as emergency management, cybersecurity threats, and public safety and security risks.

Working for a high-tech manufacturer in the security industry, I’ve attended many events that focus on different surveillance use cases, and the current trends in each subsequent vertical. One of my favorite events is the SIA Government Summit. The goal of this summit is to inform industry professionals about policy issues that impact security technology solutions, as well as provide insight for policymakers and government technology leaders on how advances in security technology can address evolving challenges.

This year’s summit kicked off with Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) discussing his role on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration. As other members of Congress and political figures gave presentations, one topic—the transportation industry—clearly seemed to be on the “cusp” of a major transformation. Speakers from Axis, APTA, Amtrak, and Intertek led the panel discussion, Surface Transportation Trends: Bus, Rail, and Mass Transit.

The SIA panel discussed the implementation of a citywide video-sharing initiative that leveraged state agencies and private businesses. A unique use case highlighted the City of Santa Ana, the second largest city in Orange County, California. The City of Santa Ana implemented a video-sharing network, which began with 48 cameras inside their administrative building and 35 cameras on the nearby civic center. The city also has partnerships with neighboring private businesses to map together hundreds of cameras collecting thousands of hours of surveillance video — establishing it as a technologically modern surveillance workflow. Transportation organizations highly value the idea of sharing video as their footprint extends throughout all parts of the city — and putting together one infrastructure to capture everything is a major challenge.

The transportation industry is also leveraging mobile technology to allow its riders to be the eyes and ears for each agency. There are new security apps and e-alerts for mobile devices that allow the public to help report suspicious activity. The Internet of Things (IoT) is also making its way into the transportation industry. Sensors are being used to detect tunnel intrusion, debris on tracks — and even video analytics are being used to monitor suspicious activity and prevent crimes before they happen.

The SIA panel also emphasized the prevalence of using video beyond security, and the value of holding onto data for longer periods of time. Video can be used in claims or lawsuits against transportation industries or utilized to extract information via analytics to improve business operations by monitoring ticket machines or queues. These analytics can also be used in partnership with cameras focused on the tracks for train management.

The transportation industry has moved beyond traditional security and surveillance use cases, beginning to take steps to leverage new means of collecting information — including data from public transportation riders and the billions of sensors that make up IoT to keep riders safe and secure — while also increasing business efficiencies and monetizing stored video. Other security industries should be “smart,” and learn from the transportation vertical to find ways to overcome surveillance and security challenges.

To learn more about security and surveillance within the transportation industry and how organizations are managing and storing the influx of data, view our webinar recording, The Future of Surveillance in Transportation & Why Data Management Matters.

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  • Greg Katz

    A very informative peice, Ryan. Thanks…..

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