Company: Exeros Technologies
Category: Automotive Product of the Year
Our Automatic Passenger Counting Technology Explained
Launched in 2020, our automatic passenger counting technology is a powerful solution specifically designed for the public transport sector.
Relying on innovative 3D sensor technology, the solution accurately monitors passenger boarding and disembarking locations and times. It helps for route trend analysis enabling fleet operators determine optimum vehicle frequency and routes based on passenger load during peak and non-peak hours.
By analysing transit use patterns and linking boarding and alighting data with stop or station location, fleets are also able to optimally adapt vehicle carrying capacities to meet actual demand. Shaping service with commuter trends is key for running an efficient operation without compromising on quality but also helps avoid empty vehicles and reduce greenhouse emissions.
The system applies time-of-flight methods, measuring the propagation time between emission and reception of infrared light, reflected by objects in its wide field of vision. The sensors provide 3D images in real-time, identifying objects by 3D shape and dimension, making it more accurate than any camera-based technology.
This allows for the accurate distinction between passengers and other transportation-related objects. Thanks to advanced AI technology the solution can accurately distinguish between wheelchairs, bicycles, strollers, backpacks, dogs etc. This enables more reliable determinations of passenger numbers as well as space required in vehicles.
Moreover, pushing the limits on our new generation sensors, the system is able to recognise objects’ movements even in crowded situations and in extreme lighting conditions. Consistently achieving over 99% accuracy, the sensors overcome errors such as shadowing or the counting of U-turns.
The technology comes with automatic event recording, as well as a powerful data analytics platform to tune vehicle deployments to when the networks are busiest inevitably lowering CO2 emissions.
This ground-breaking system can connect to a new AI Driven central CCTV platform configured for the challenges faced by public transport vehicles. It partners with AI blind spot cyclist safety detection cameras, front Driver assist cameras which will warn the driver of pending collisions, a driver monitor camera that alerts the driver if they are showing fatigue or distraction and new high-definition cameras for enhanced safety on buses.
Overall benefits for fleet, drivers and the country as a whole
In line with TFL’s Vision Zero, we are working alongside our customers to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries on UK roads. With our passenger counting technology connecting to our AI driven central CCTV module, we have come forward to tackle long-standing safety challenges faced daily by the bus and coach industry, providing enhanced protection for drivers, passengers, and vulnerable road users.
By incorporating data from all our AI modules onto one centralised user-friendly platform, the user gets first-hand alerts of any risky behaviour or event. An example of this is the ability of recognising events of driver fatigue such as drowsiness via our AI fatigue system, combined with bus overload via passenger counting and an incident occurring on the bus. The central team would get instant alerts of all the above via the platform.
The Passenger Counting module also allows for optimum efficiency of fleet and operations contributing towards a wider collective goal â€“ that of lowering overall CO2 emissions across the transport sector, one of the major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions according to the Carbon Plan set out by the UK government in 2020.
Furthermore, as part of the plan to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, the public is being encouraged to use public transport more often. Achieving optimum efficiency in vehicle capacity, vehicle type and frequency based on actual demand, will increase customer satisfaction, reduce traveller frustration, and thus lead to increased adoption of public transport use.
All the above is possible while still fully protecting passengers’ privacy in line with GDPR.
Case Study: Passenger Counting Solution in action
A case in point, is Somerset Passengers’ Solutions (SPS). In December 2020, SPS had our passenger counter technology successfully installed on their fleet of modern buses and coaches.
Somerset Passenger Solutions is the sole contractor responsible for transporting thousands of workers every day to Hinkley Point C, Europe’s largest construction project.
As the construction project continues, SPS needed to get a better understanding of capacity and passenger numbers on vehicles to improve scheduling performance and efficiency of the fleet. An agile routing platform was needed to optimise vehicle frequency and routes.
Our AI APC System looks at the routes and works out what is happening and when, whereas beforehand a human would need to input and assign data. AI removes this need and eliminates the risk of error.
APC enables quick decisions to be made based on data intelligence just a couple of clicks away. The technology allows SPS to automatically counts passengers on and off SPS’ buses by location and time to help the client understand passengers travelling behaviour and thus determine optimum coach frequency and routes to and from site.
It also allows the team keep drivers and passengers safe. By providing insight on bus overload, it allows SPS to pre-empt incidents in relation to overcrowding but also to prevent running services that aren’t fully utilised.
The Hinkley Point C construction project is constantly striving to increase the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of their passenger transport service. By utilising the data made available by our passenger counting technology it is anticipated that further refinement of routes and schedules will lead to an even more efficient and passenger focused service being provided to SPS’ broad customer base.
One example of that would be the usage of AI APC system in more rural areas where AI could analyse usage data to more effectively optimise route and vehicle utilisation â€“ helping to make public transport a more viable option regardless of postcode.
AI provides a tangible opportunity to tailor bus services in several ways. Our AI APC can help optimise route and fleet efficiency, help gradually introduce enhanced autonomous functionality, and could assist in providing the tools needed to navigate the route to net-zero.