Overcrowding is a major concern in public transport and at major events, as it reduces safety, comfort and transport efficiency. One effective measure against overcrowding is to temporarily restrict access to certain areas. For this purpose, operations managers typically rely on visual inspections of large crowds by a human supervisor, rather than on quantitative data. Subjective decisions of a human observer, however, frequently fail to bring optimal and timely access restrictions.
CONTROL is an innovative computer-aided crowd control system for optimizing crowd flows in public transport infrastructures or at major events. It automatically controls access restriction settings to limit the number of people in certain areas to a predefined level. CONTROL uses automated people-counting sensors to measure quantitative pedestrian flow data, thus replacing subjective and often inaccurate human assessments of overcrowding.
The decision-making technology of CONTROL can also be developed and evaluated a priori during the planning phase using the AIT service SIMULATE. CONTROL has been developed by the AIT in close collaboration with the operator of the Vienna public transit network (Wiener Linien) to meet the specific needs of passengers and public transport operators. CONTROL has contributed to the success of the UEFA EURO 2008™ by efficiently managing passenger flows during the events in the “Ernst-Happel” stadium.