Pennsylvania Uses AI To Aide In Gun Violence Prevention

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) – which serves the Philadelphia metro area – is conducting a six-month trial of ZeroEyes, a video platform that alerts public safety officials when a firearm is detected. City officials are hoping that this artificial intelligence technology will prove useful in preventing gun-related violence on train platforms. 

“We are committed to ensuring the safety of our riders and employees,” said SEPTA Board President Pasquale Deon, Sr. “While serious crimes are rare on SEPTA, evaluating this technology demonstrates the Authority’s proactive approach to security.”

ZeroEyes claims that its software takes just three to five seconds to report to police or security personnel when a weapon is brandished. ZeroEyes Operations Center (ZOC) is staffed with former U.S. military and law enforcement specialists who monitor every detection to deliver information on gun-related incidents – such as the gunman’s appearance, clothing, weapon, and real-time location. For privacy’s sake, ZeroEyes does not perform any facial recognition, nor receive, record, store, or share videos or images of any person.

ZeroEyes also states that it is the first video analytics company to receive the Department of Homeland Security’s “Developmental Testing and Evaluation” designation – a law that gives legal liability protections to experimental anti-terrorism technologies.

“Our nation’s cities have been experiencing dramatic increases in violent gun-related crime, and we need more leaders like SEPTA who take proactive measures to protect the public,” said Mike Lahiff, CEO and co-founder of ZeroEyes. “Public transportation is a crucial lifeline in urban regions, and the millions of people who rely upon it have a right to feel safe. SEPTA’s progressive approach to the problem should set the industry norm; we hope to see other public transit providers follow suit in the near future.”