University trials ‘panic lights’ to boost student safety

THE UNIVERSITY of Illinois is currently trialling exterior lights with integrated emergency response buttons in a bid to boost the safety of its students on campus.

Its smart street lighting columns include what’s been called the ‘panic buttons’ which link directly to the institution’s on-site security response teams. Once pressed, first responders are notified via an app which pinpoints the location of the alert on a map.

Additionally, the light itself and a number of nearby lights pulse from 10 to 100 per cent brightness to allow the scene of the incident to be identified quickly and easily.

The SafeWalks app uses data from the network infrastructure of the smart street lights and their special integrated video sensors to  determine the safest walking route to take through the campus.

It’s also hoped that the flashing of the LED lights will interrupt any on-going criminal or anti-social behaviour by alerting the perpetrators that the security personnel are aware and are on their way to the location.

The lights with integral emergency response buttons are just part of a wider strategy by the university to increase safety and security for its students, faculty and staff on its sprawling campus.

To complement the panic lights, the university has developed an app for smart phones for those who may feel unsafe walking at night.

By using the network infrastructure of the smart street lights and special integrated video sensors which count pedestrians, the SafeWalks app can determine the safest walking route to take through the campus.

SafeWalks matches the data generated by the Placemeter sensors with Google Maps to create a set of directions for pedestrians to take.

The video sensors are supplied by New York start-up Placemeter and use computer vision algorithms to create real-time data about how people use the spaces.

SafeWalks then matches the data generated by the Placemeter sensors with Google Maps to create a set of directions for pedestrians to take.

University chiefs hope that the combination of the panic lights and the safe walking app will help deter crime and reduce the fear of crime by those using the campus after dark.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lux has unveiled the programme for its Lighting for Transport and Infrastructure conference, taking place in London on Thursday 22 February 2018. It includes sessions on glare, light pollution, electric vehicle charging on street lights, street lights asset management, IoT street lighting control and LEDs and mesopic vision. Places are free of charge to those responsible for street lighting assets. To view the programme and register, click HERE.

 

 

All pics copyright Shutterstock 2017 

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