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To Avoid Cluster Infection in Traditional Markets, Tainan City Sets Up First Smart Epidemic Prevention Crowd Control System

To provide a safe shopping environment for residents, Tainan City launched Taiwan’s very first smart crowd control system at traditional markets. The National Center for High-Performance Computing and Nantian Digital TV worked together to develop an AI epidemic prevention system which uses image recognition technology to estimate the number of people in the area and whether or not they are wearing face masks. If the system detects a shopper without a mask on or when the number of people in the space is about to exceed the maximum capacity, it will start to broadcast warning announcements through a megaphone. This not only increases epidemic prevention management performance but also reduces required manpower.

 

Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che expressed that people who are not wearing face masks on the street are often reported or reminded by other people. This shows that the public is very aware of the epidemic prevention measures. However, there are still some people who forget to or deliberately choose not to wear a mask. Therefore the city government set up this smart AI system which uses computers to calculate the number of surrounding people and remind the public to put on their face masks. Huang Wei-che also stressed that every single person is crucial in making epidemic prevention measures effective and hopes that the public can follow related guidelines to protect themselves and others.

 

Economic Development Bureau Director-General Chen Kai-ling explained that the AI epidemic prevention system’s smart crowd control function categorizes crowd sizes in traditional markets into green, orange, and red-light statuses. A green light indicates shoppers are welcome, an orange light indicates the crowds are a bit large, and red means the market is very crowded and shoppers are advised not to go there. Through real-time images, the system can rapidly calculate the number of people in the market and detect if they are wearing masks or not. If the number of people reaches orange light status or when there are people with no face mask on, the megaphone begins to broadcast reminders to the public, asking them to comply with crowd control guidelines.

 

According to the Economic Development Bureau, currently the AI smart crowd control system has been test-launched at six locations: Xinying First Public Market, Madou Fifth Public Market, Jiali Zhongshan Public Market, Liujia Public Market, Xinying Zhongzheng Road Private Dusk Market, and Singing Bus Company’s Xinying terminal station. The public can easily find out the current status of crowds in markets by going online via their phones or computers.


Hashtag:#COVID-19