Program helps to manage crowd flow

Program helps to manage crowd flow
Data from City Hall MRT station during last year’s F1 race went into developing the crowd modelling technology.

SINGAPORE - To create a programme that predicts crowd flow, the group from management consultancy Accenture was embedded in the police operations centre during large-scale events held at the Marina Bay Precinct.

These include last September's Formula One Grand Prix and the Marina Bay Countdown party on New Year's Eve.

Global Positioning System devices were issued to police officers so that their locations and movements during the events could be tracked in real time. They were also given smartphones installed with an application to allow them to feed images back to the operations centre.

The data collected was then combined with CCTV footage and other historical information to create a computer model that predicts crowd flow.

This enabled the team to establish the times when the largest crowds would form at the nearby City Hall MRT station and allowed the authorities to allocate escalators for commuters leaving or entering the station to ease the flow of human traffic.

The crowd modelling technology produced by the group was also used to determine the demographics, such as gender and age, of people at the station, which can be used by SMRT when planning for fire and other emergency evacuation scenarios.

This article was first published on June 9, 2014.
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