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London Installed AI Cameras To Monitor Social Distancing, Lockdown Restrictions

Artificial Intelligence cameras are being used in London and other cities in the UK to monitor social distancing. The sensors were initially developed by Vivacity to track the flow of traffic, cyclists and pedestrians and monitor how roads are being used. But when the country went into lockdown in March, Vivacity added on an extra feature to the AI scanners so it could register the distance between pedestrians. This data is shared in a monthly report with the Government.

Vivacity Labs said they have more than 1,000 sensors installed across the UK, in cities including London, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge and Nottingham. Chief Operating Officer at Vivacity Peter Mildon told BBC Radio Kent on Wednesday that the data is potentially “useful for informing policy decisions” regarding lockdown measures. He stressed that the cameras are not CCTV but that they operate as a data collating device rather than a camera that stores footage. “They are not recording any footage, they are not streaming any footage and no one is actually watching it,” he said.

Mr Mildon added: “We’re creating a set of statistics on how behavior is changing in terms of how people are staying close together or apart. And it is that data that is then useful for informing policy decisions on whether there should be a two meter rule or a one meter plus rule or whether local lockdown measures are having the impact they are envisioned to.”