SEPTA has announced the soft launch of a new security feature partnered with tech company ZeroEyes. Starting this January, SEPTA will implement the ZeroEyes artificial intelligence software, DeepZero, as an additional security measure. This technology is built to detect raised firearms and directly notify law enforcement after a weapon has been identified.
DeepZero AI technology will be installed into three hundred SEPTA surveillance cameras for a six-month test run. Negotiations for a long-term contract with ZeroEyes will be decided after this period based on the system’s effectiveness at crime prevention.
We spoke to SEPTA Director of Media Relations, Andrew Busch, to learn more about the strategy of this program.
“This technology will be used in heavy traffic locations. This could help target responses. If somebody does do something with a weapon this could assist our officers in capturing that person and making an arrest. We have a limited police force, so we’re trying to maximize our coverage. We want to rebuild our ridership after the pandemic. People need to feel safe in the system. So, we’re doing this in conjunction with a number of other efforts.”
Busch explains that since 2019 there has been a consistent increase in crime rates on public transportation. SEPTA is currently working on enhancing security efforts by hiring outreach workers, social workers, and retired police force to help monitor facilities. SEPTA’S hoping that this proactive approach to crime will deter violence and decrease police response time.
“It’s a cost of approximately $63,000. We think it’s well worth looking into this technology to see if it’s something that we can add to the safety and security enhancements we’re bringing for customers. We think it has the potential to significantly help with our surveillance.”
Busch hopes that this new security feature will successfully reassure SEPTA customers and improve riders’ experience.