GP: Safety and security in Collective Passenger Transport of Rome - Italy PDF Print E-mail

IPSATAC is the innovative video surveillance support system, being demonstrated in Termini Underground Station, which is able to recognize different standard situations and notify the operators by an audio-visual alarm. It is useful both for control guarantees and for monitoring habits of travellers, in order to improve the quality of PT service.

Objectives/ Innovative aspects

To test an innovative automatic video surveillance support system, IPSATAC, in the Rome underground station of Termini.

The measures

Termini Station is Rome’s main Public Transport interchange point. The traditional Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system didn’t allow regular and widespread real time monitoring of the high number of cameras in operation. Also, images of events not digitally recorded and stored were difficult to access.

The system could not be used to check all illicit and dangerous activities, such as assaults, abandoned objects, pickpocketing, begging, vandalism, intrusions in interdict areas, overcrowding and congestions, unusual lingering etc.

Implementation status

An innovative video surveillance system, which improves the efficiency of the traditional CCTV system, is now being demonstrated in Termini Underground Station.

The system, developed and tested with the main users of CCTV(including PT operators in Rome, London, Paris, Brussel, Milan and Prague), carries out the automatic detection of overcrowding and congestion in semi-open areas of high human activity (such as station access or ticketing halls) and on the platforms; it spots intrusions, unusual lingering and abandoned objects. The project has been developed and managed by ATAC in cooperation with Kingston University with the support of a technical partner, Ipsotek. After a trial, and taking into account the results gained, ATAC has started a preliminary feasibility study for the implementation of the system, involving Security and IT departments, to analyse the technical, and mainly operational and financial constraints that are specific to the large-scale implementation of such a system.

Work on the software has been focused on improving transmission of images (both quality and speed); improving the capacity of the video processor (new code has been added), and improving the calculation of foreground information. It was indeed possible to use the same equipment and infrastructure already installed in the past (Control Room and industrial PC). An ADSL connection has been set up by ATAC in the Control Room to allow Kingston researchers to update and monitor the software directly from their labs in London. The final industrial hardware for the system was installed in July 2003.

The IPSATAC system is able to recognize different standard situations and notify the operators by an audio-visual alarm, once appropriate time and space thresholds have been set up. This procedure, designed in strict collaboration with the operators of the “control rooms”, allows an intuitive and efficient interface, both for prevention and control guarantees, for the possibility of detecting and monitoring tendencies and habits of travellers, in order to improve the quality of PT services.

(Expected) results

The trial has been carried out in one subway station, Termini, which is the most complex. After the test phase the automatic video surveillance system has been identified as suitable for possible future exploitations, both in Rome and other Italian metropolitan areas.


Corbucci Bruno
b r u n o . c o r b u c c i @ a t a c . r o m a . i t

The above project is part of the CIVITAS - MIRACLES initiative.
CIVITAS - MIRACLES is a project that assembles four major European cities: Rome (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Winchester (United Kingdom) and Cork (Ireland). The Miracles project answer the call of the European Commission for increasing the urban transport system's sustainability and efficiency through radical strategies for Clean Urban Transport.

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