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Smart systems to guarantee safety at mass events and public places

New intelligent systems to achieve a 20% improvement in the time it takes to evacuate people from public places and mass events

Every other weekend an average of 24,000 people converge on the Anoeta Stadium, which is 74% of its maximum possible capacity. On the other hand, over 300,000 people use the Bilbao Metro every day. In the event of an emergency situation occurring in either of these infrastructures, the speed of evacuation would be a key variable to minimise the risks and guarantee the safety of the public. Institutions like Real Sociedad soccer club or Metro Bilbao are a benchmark in safety standards, but they are maintaining a proactive attitude to progressively improve their evacuation systems. The new technologies enable safety systems to take into account crowd dynamics that occur during an evacuation in order to maximise safety for all concerned. The sensation of being trapped creates a situation of mental confusion in people and some may experience panic attacks and cause the evacuation channels like staircases or doors to exceed capacity, thus preventing or slowing down evacuation. In order to seek solutions for these phenomena, the European Commission has launched the eVACUATE project, an initiative in which IK4-TEKNIKER is participating, and which is designed to gain a better understanding of how emergency evacuations work and to provide even safer systems for logistics and decision-making in critical situations. The initiative, which has a total budget in excess of 13 million euros, will be designed so that it can adapt dynamically to any kind of scenario or situation. The aim is for people trapped during a complicated evacuation to constantly receive sufficient information so that they realise what is going on and have knowledge at all times about the best evacuation route even if the situation changes. Through the various intelligent systems, which will combine different communication technologies, analysis of the situation on the ground and dynamic signage of the active evacuation route, it is anticipated that the speed of evacuation will increase by over 20%. The systems designed during the development of the project will be subsequently validated at the facilities of organisations that have large crowds like Real Sociedad, the Bilbao Metro or Athens Airport, organisations that are also collaborating in the project. Both Real Sociedad and the Bilbao Metro will be testing the technologies developed in the course of the eVACUATE project in two of the four pilot tests in real environments that are scheduled as part of the validation phase. The new evacuation systems in the project will be obtaining data in real time about the situation in these smart spaces during the evacuations, thanks to the technologies developed, and they will be capable of generating predictions of future evacuation scenarios. The data obtained will be processed by means of artificial intelligence systems, vision systems and other techniques to be able to determine the best evacuation route at each moment; this will then be passed on to the people by means of dynamic signage systems and their own smart phones, thus achieving an evacuation that is as efficient as possible. One of the key technologies that will be part of the whole system will be three-dimensional vision of the prevailing evacuation situation. This technology, combined with systems to locate and process all the data obtained, will facilitate the detection of the behaviour of the people to be evacuated as a whole, and the exchange of information between the people involved, including the evacuated people themselves. The eVACUATE project is very complex and that is why it has the participation of twenty or so organisations, including companies, universities and research centres from eight community countries, including multinational companies l This Eibar-based organisation will undertake to create the architecture of the smart spaces. This smart space will identify the sources of the possible problems during the evacuation and will also identify the people involved in the evacuation.