AT&T IoT - Video Intelligence powered by Lumada Video Insights from Hitachi
Keep employees, contractors and visitors safe by taking measures to detect potential cases of COVID-19.
Deploy a thermal imaging to check individuals’ temperatures as they enter the building.
Protecting Employees and Customers While Keeping Transport Rolling
Since COVID-19 hit in March 2020, many organizations have been challenged with how to keep their employees safe while continuing to operate. For the bus drivers and mechanics that are responsible for providing public transport for key workers, working from home is simply not on option.
RTC (Regional Transportation Commission) Southern Nevada oversees public transportation, traffic management, roadway design and construction funding for the region, which includes Las Vegas. Founded in 1965, the organization aims to identify and address transportation challenges within the area, which has a rapidly growing population. Its goals include promoting sustainability, improving air quality, enhancing mobility and increasing safety.
When the pandemic arrived, RTC Southern Nevada started to look for ways to protect customers and employees. “Each of our drivers comes into contact with up to 360 people a day. With 300 drivers, there’s a significant risk of coming into contact with COVID-19,” explains Carl Scarbrough, Director Advertising, Transit Amenities and Technical Equipment, RTC Southern Nevada. “We needed to put in place measures to protect our staff.”
The organization rapidly put in place a multi-layer approach, which included physical barriers between drivers and passengers, socially distanced seating, increased air filtration and a nightly regimen of sanitizing vehicles. As an additional measure, RTC Southern Nevada was keen to check the temperature of everyone entering its buildings, thereby identifying anyone that could potentially have the virus. “We considered taking temperatures manually, but this approach would be time-consuming, cause delays to workers and put the individual taking temperatures at risk,” comments Scarbrough.
Detecting COVID Symptoms With Thermal Imaging
To help keep staff safe, RTC Southern Nevada has implemented AT&T’s IoT Video Intelligence thermal imaging solution, powered by Lumada Video Insights from Hitachi. “We selected the solution as it could take thermal readings quickly, required minimal manual intervention and was rapid to rollout,” explains Scarbrough.
Using thermal cameras, machine learning and onsite monitors, the solution alerts individuals if their temperature is raised above the normal range. Placed at eight entrances across six locations, the solution displays a thermal image of every individual passing through and flags if their temperature breaches a set threshold. The solution takes just a second or two per person, preventing delays. The monitor will not provide the actual temperature of an individual. The screener will see only a heat image with a box around it – a green box for those without an elevated temperature and a red box for those with one.
If an individual has an elevated temperature, they are asked to wait for a few minutes before trying again. If it’s still out of the acceptable range, it is verified by a handheld device before their supervisor is informed and sends them home to seek medical care. The solution is monitored centrally to ensure the correct protocols are followed.
Around 600 people are currently screened by the solution every day, with this figure likely to increase to 1,000 once the state’s stay-at-home order ends and staffing levels return to normal.
Keeping People Safe With Minimal Intrusiveness
With the Hitachi Vantara solution, RTC Southern Nevada can protect employees, contractors, visitors and members of the public with minimal impact on their privacy or their time. “As our first line of defense against COVID-19, the thermal imaging solution makes everyone feel more comfortable,” comments Scarbrough. “The beauty of the solution is that it doesn’t disrupt the flow of foot traffic.”
RTC Southern Nevada is deliberately not using facial recognition, providing the actual temperature of anyone or storing any data to protect privacy. “We were initially concerned about acceptance, but everyone understands how it’s helping to keep them safe and healthy, so we haven’t had any issues,” explains Scarbrough.
After its success with the thermal imaging solution, RTC Southern Nevada is looking into how cameras onboard buses and video analytics could help provide real-time intelligence into capacity and use of its services.
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As our first line of defense against COVID-19, the thermal imaging solution makes everyone feel more comfortable. The beauty of the solution is that it doesn’t disrupt the flow of foot traffic.
– Carl Scarbrough, Director Advertising, Transit Amenities and Technical Equipment, RTC Southern Nevada.