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Securing Bus and Rail Systems with Intelligent Video

Challenges to Securing Public Transportation Systems

Bus, rail and other public transportation systems are extremely critical to a nations’ economy. For example, every day in the U.S., millions of commuters use public transportation to get to work, and businesses rely on millions of miles of railroad track for transporting goods efficiently and safely. Unfortunately, these impressive statistics present serious challenges for protecting passengers, cargo and the vital infrastructure they ride upon.

Mass transit systems involve such a large volume of passengers that airport-style security screening is impossible. Instead, bus depots and rail stations rely on access control systems, CCTV cameras and a relatively small number of security personnel to ensure public safety. These systems make it difficult to actively detect access violations, graffiti, loitering, unattended items and other suspicious behavior.

Protecting passengers and cargo along countless miles of track is also a daunting endeavor. Once passengers and cargo are on board, their safety can be compromised when trains approach bridges and tunnels, or when stopped for crossings or passing trains. Motion detection systems are ineffective in accurately identifying threats and are prone to false alarms. And, in a world of heightened security, false alarms are worse than no alarms because they train security personnel to ignore all potential threats.

Improve Security by Integrating Existing Systems with Intelligent Video

By integrating with existing security systems, intelligent video offers the real-time monitoring and situational awareness necessary to dramatically improve security for bus and rail systems. Easy integration with CCTV, global positioning, biometric and access control systems creates a centralized security management solution that can trigger alarms to prevent or respond to security situations.

Intelligent video software can continuously analyze data from thousands of cameras to automatically detect problem situations such as people walking next to a track, someone entering a secure area or a package left unattended at a bus terminal. Customer service can also be improved by detecting overcrowding on subway trains or long lines at ticket counters.

Once a suspicious behavior is detected, automatic alerts can be sent wirelessly to security agents for an immediate response. The agents can then prepare a response based on data from various integrated systems. Furthermore, higher accuracy rates through situational awareness help reduce false alarms and enable more effective responses. The end result is an integrated, cost-effective solution that offers actionable 24/7 surveillance without requiring wholesale changes to existing infrastructure.


SmartCatch provides the most comprehensive, accurate and advanced site-wide intelligent video surveillance solution available. With true behavior recognition capabilities, SmartCatch can detect suspicious behaviors that threaten safety and security in real time, alerting the appropriate security staff for an effective and efficient response.

Unlike other intelligent video solutions that merely integrate with existing CCTV cameras, SmartCatch maximizes investment in other security systems, including access control, RFID and biometrics. By integrating video behavior analysis with authentication devices, situational awareness is heightened dramatically. Moreover, SmartCatch’s varied behavior modules can be used in any indoor or outdoor setting, regardless of water borders or weather conditions.

Finally, SmartCatch uses state-of-the-art machine learning, multiple object trajectory tracking and human reasoning technology, which consistently achieves the industry’s highest accuracy by detecting violations and eliminating the false alarms caused by motion detection systems or simple object tracking solutions.

SMARTCATCH in aCtion at a busy subway Station

Subway systems are adopting SmartCatch to better protect passengers and the vital transportation network on which they rely. Metropolitan transit authorities can use SmartCatch to improve both security and service.

Transit authorities are already relying on CCTV, motion detection and access control systems installed throughout their systems; however, these alone are unable to provide the real-time capabilities and situational awareness required to properly distinguish real threats from false alarms. By integrating these systems with SmartCatch, security agents can have one interface for managing and monitoring security across the system.

Protecting passengers and improving service at stations across the network can be accomplished through SmartCatch’s ability to effectively recognize suspicious and problem behaviors. Unattended objects can be readily identified, as can loitering around sensitive areas. Integration with access control systems allows SmartCatch to detect someone tailgating behind an authorized employee into a secure area.

SmartCatch can improve service by identifying overcrowding situations within the station, at platforms and on subway cars. Once alerted of overcrowding, security agents can monitor the situation and dispatch personnel as appropriate. The authority can also crack down on fare violations by alerting security agents to turnstile violations.

Once on the train, SmartCatch helps ensure safe and timely passage from station to station. SmartCatch analyzes data from tunnel-mounted CCTV and motion detection systems to automatically detect foreign or removed objects or unauthorized people in the tunnels.

By implementing SmartCatch, fare violations can by reduced and security costs lowered by eliminating false alarms and reducing surveillance expenses.


The SmartCatch Intelligent Video Surveillance Platform offers a unique distributed architecture that is easily deployed on a few cameras or on thousands across a large organization. Multiple behaviors are available and can run in any combination to provide comprehensive coverage.
SmartCatch includes a complete set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for integration, customization of the user interface and tailoring applications. It works with existing CCTV and security infrastructures such as access control systems, biometrics and RFID. Alerts are delivered in real time to a wide variety of devices including pagers, PDAs and email. SmartCatch runs on industry standard hardware and operating systems.


SmartCatch Intelligent Video provides a measurable return on investment by significantly reducing fines, delays, theft, damage and labor costs.
The ability to automatically monitor thousands of security cameras enables airports to improve security with fewer personnel. The improved security leads to fewer TSA fines and reduced loss from theft or damage to critical airport infrastructure or high-value assets. Finally, SmartCatch provides further value by helping to avoid costly security-related delays and by leveraging investments in existing security systems.

Benefits of Intelligent Video
bullet Eliminate Access Violations
bullet Increase Public Safety
bullet Receive Real-time Intrusion Alerts
bullet Achieve TSA Security Compliance
bullet Protect High-value Assets
bullet Improve Perimeter Security

Bus and Rail System Protection
bullet Turnstile Violation detects people hopping over or crawling under an access gate
bullet Loitering
detects people or vehicles loitering near secure/high value areas
bullet Crowd Detection
detects growing crowd sizes to prevent overcrowding
bullet Human Tailgating
detects multiple people entering a secure area on a single access card
bullet Vehicle Tailgating
detects multiple vehicles entering through an access control point on a single card
bullet Perimeter Intrusion
detects and tracks people, vehicles or other object intrusions into secured areas
bullet Removed Objects
detects the removal of equipment or other stationary objects
bullet Stopped Vehicle
detects vehicles stopped near sensitive areas for a prolonged period or outside permitted access times

“Bus and rail systems present significant challenges for intelligent video technology. It must deal with crowded conditions, diverse lighting due to tunnels and other structures, and a wide range of weather and environmental conditions. Despite these challenges, intelligent video technology in general, and Vidient’s SmartCatch in particular, has proven itself to be adaptable and effective.”

Breakthrough Accuracy

SmartCatch delivers breakthrough performance on the two most important metrics for intelligent video: high accuracy of detection and low rate of false alarms. Using state-of-the-art machine learning, multiple object trajectory tracking, and human reasoning technology in combination, SmartCatch recognizes behaviors that threaten safety and security.

Site-wide Solution

SmartCatch offers an extensive set of behaviors for both indoor and outdoor monitoring needs, providing comprehensive coverage across an entire organization.

Comprehensive Response Management

SmartCatch provides an Alert Response Management system that enables security personnel to respond quickly and according to specific security policy.


SmartCatch can be deployed on a few cameras or on thousands across a large organization, allowing it to grow as needed. It works with existing CCTV systems and can easily integrate with other sensor and security systems to provide complete situational awareness.


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