SPIE is integrating artificial intelligence into urban video surveillance systems

Published on 09 November 2020

Cergy, 9 November 2020 – SPIE CityNetworks, a French subsidiary of the SPIE group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has been innovating in response to changes in public requirements for urban video surveillance. Driven by strong local government desire to improve the safety of citizens in urban areas, the number of towns and cities equipped with video surveillance cameras has multiplied over the last few years. This increasing demand has led to changes in the types of services provided to local government and the experts at SPIE CityNetworks have been able to deliver on this.

SPIE CityNetworks at the centre of a market in full expansion

SPIE CityNetworks, a favoured service provider of local government, moved quickly into the market for urban video surveillance. “Over the last few years, local government has been driving hard innovation in this sector. The quantity of images and data needing processing has increased significantly,” says Simon Coutel, Operational Director Île-de-France at SPIE CityNetworks.

The teams at SPIE CityNetworks are delivering right across the value chain: design, production, operation and maintenance of camera networks. They are also installing dedicated transmission networks in order to ensure maximum performance in terms of security as well as data management. One part of SPIE CityNetworks activities lies in its FTTx[1] network expertise: “we base ourselves on our skills in designing and deploying fibre-optic networks especially designed for urban video surveillance. On a case-by-case basis, we are able to provide transmission solutions based on mobile networks (3G, 4G and soon 5G) or on existing infrastructure in order to optimise deployment costs using the OLL[2] approach,” explains Simon Coutel.

Finally, SPIE CityNetworks designs, builds and maintains Urban Surveillance Centres (USC), the nerve centres of urban surveillance networks, which receive and process the video streams.

Specialist design and ergonomics teams at SPIE design and manufacture bespoke equipment in their workshop facilities in Toulouse (furnishings, screen banks, lighting, acoustics, etc.) in order to create a work environment that is suited to the needs of surveillance agents and which allows them to manage the transmitted images efficiently.

Expansion of camera networks and data governance

The governance of public data is a major challenge for local government authorities wishing to have full independent control of the data produced by their video surveillance cameras. This is why public demand for the creation of top-end local data centres is growing. SPIE CityNetworks designs, sets up and maintains them.

Artificial intelligence meeting the needs of local government

Artificial intelligence techniques make it possible to develop algorithms capable of processing large volumes of data, analyse images and detect any type of event happening in public areas. As a solutions provider, SPIE CityNetworks helps by making these intelligent algorithms operate in strict compliance with current legal and regulatory frameworks, particularly in terms of the protection of personal data and respect for privacy.

The field of artificial intelligence is extremely fertile and brings new solutions, some of which are already operational, providing real support to USC operators. These solutions can help to reduce the time it takes to search and extract images from video surveillance archives and speed up enquiries.

Future progress in this area means we can expect innovative and diverse applications in the field of urban video surveillance (detection of risk situations, reporting of illegally parked vehicles or infringement of low traffic zones and pedestrianised areas in order to encourage compliance in town centres, etc.). SPIE CityNetworks has already built its first examples of this type of solution and these are now up and running. Our experts at SPIE are experimenting with other innovative ideas based on artificial intelligence in order to confirm our approach, our means of implementation and the most relevant use cases.

Local government authorities are actively committed to digital transformation policies. This is leading them to a complete rethink of security management in their areas, making the most of technological innovations. With its overall expertise, SPIE CityNetworks is able to provide specially adapted solutions to challenges in each local area.

[1] “Fibre to the x” consists of bringing the fibre optic cable as close to the user as possible in order to increase the quality of service (in particular the speed) to the maximum available.

[2] Optic Local Loop infrastructure