Noise Cameras- The New Eyes and Ears Collecting Insights for City Governments

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2Q 2022 | IN-6530

Noise pollution is often a forgotten threat but is now providing new insights to improve citizen health thanks to Axis Communications and Sorama’s new Noise Camera integrated solution.

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Axis Communications and Sorama's Noise Camera Solution

NEWS


Axis Communications and Sorama are launching a new integrated solution that promises help make town centers safer and quieter: the Noise Camera. The solution, which was presented at Intertraffic Amsterdam on the 29th of March, is an all-in-one solution partnered with FF Group (license plate and vehicle recognition) and Milestone (video management system). These integrated solutions are becoming more popular as the power of smart city solutions are enhanced by the coordination of different data types working together.

How Can This Help Cities?

IMPACT


According to a 2018 WHO (World Health Organization) study, noise pollution in the European Union is responsible for the loss of 1.6 million healthy life years per year. Its harmfulness cannot be ignored but it does not receive the same attention and investment as other issues such as air pollution, even though the two are intrinsically linked. Noise pollution can be linked to heightened stress and have physical effects such as respiratory agitation, high blood pressure, gastritis, colitis, and even heart attacks. Therefore, cities need to better understand how changing restrictions or regulations affect noise levels in cities as it has a direct effect on citizen health and quality of life.

The solution has other use cases and has been used in a pilot in Eindhoven as a public safety tool. The sound cameras visualized the safety of the city’s nightlife, or lack thereof. The combination of Axis cameras and Sorama acoustic monitors meant the solution was able to detect, locate, and identify noise pollution and aggression and forward it to the authorities. This helps to evolve the use of CCTV cameras from their current main use as tools to solve crime and act as deterrents to real time assistance for public safety officials. The technology is able to differentiate between people talking and people arguing without recording what people are saying in order to ensure privacy is protected.

What Should Cities be Doing?

RECOMMENDATIONS


Noise pollution is an issue that affects people in cities globally and the health risks associated with it are beginning to be better understood. The integrated solution with cameras can provide vital insights for cities into, for example, traffic management. This could occur through a detection at an intersection of a consistent increase in noise level between, for example, 5:00pm and 5:30pm. This demonstrates that the intersection is not functioning optimally for traffic management at this time and insight collected through a video management system and predictive traffic controls could be deployed to solve the issues. This solution consequently manages to solve multiple issues including noise pollution, traffic management, and air pollution from idling cars. Being able to target these problem areas means that when they are an issue, the information can be integrated with adaptive traffic management to help control the flow of traffic or show if the particular intersection needs further improvement.

Cities and industries should be investigating and investing in integrated solutions that uses multiple technologies to complement each other to provide better, more actionable insight for cities. Video data is more and more often paired with another technology such as LiDAR to improve the data gathered and allow Artificial Intelligence (AI) and video management systems to provide actionable data for cities. Often an issue with smart city technology is that data can be subjective or the full insight from the sensor cannot be realized but with two or more sensor types working on the same issues there is less error in the data and better evidence can be collected by cities into what makes an impact for its citizens.

Overall, this announcement by Axis and Sorama demonstrates a wider trend in the industry of bringing together technologies to provide better insights and use of data in cities. The noise camera looks to be an innovative solution to an often-overlooked issue that affects cities globally.

 

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