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California City Brings IoT to Buses

Montebello is capturing sensor data and video footage from each of its moving buses in real time, which can also be viewed historically, with video linked to sensor data, time and GPS location, making reported incident investigation faster and easier.
By Claire Swedberg

The city also monitors who is driving a bus at the time of such an incident, based on a contactless access-control card that each operator uses upon opening the bus door at the beginning of his or her shift. The unique ID number on the driver's badge is linked to data collected from that bus.

The system can issue alerts based on the data collected. For instance, if a loud noise is detected on a bus, or if someone tries to disturb one of the sensors or cameras, a message is sent to authorized parties. The driver has a panic button that transmits a signal to Stream IT management software, which can also prompt an alert. Officials who are notified can then view and hear what it taking place on that bus.

Because some of the cameras face away from the bus, activity around that vehicle can be collected as well. This information has proven useful for city law enforcement, Tsuen reports. The system also enables Montebello to accomplish a variety of historical analyses. For instance, an impact sensor linked to GPS enables the city to map its potholes for its streets department.

Now that the footage is being captured in and around the buses, the next phase will be to equip 32 bus stops with fixed, LTE-based cameras. Tsuen says he hopes the bus stops will be fully live with access to cameras recording at those sites by October of this year, adding, "We want to go full-force on this"

Future developments could include integrating artificial intelligence and facial detection into the system. In that way, Montebello could count travelers at specific locations and better route buses accordingly, such as adding vehicles to a crowded route, or better serving a crowded bus stop. The city could also share this data and the solution with other communities across the United States. "This is revolutionizing the world of surveillance," Toor states.

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