Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to Pilot ZeroEyes AI-Based Gun Detection Platform

Layered on top of SEPTA’s existing security cameras, ZeroEyes’ proprietary software is said to identify brandished guns and alert safety personnel and local law enforcement within three to five seconds.

PHILADELPHIA — ZeroEyes, a developer of an A.I.-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), have announced that SEPTA has selected ZeroEyes for a pilot program designed to reduce the likelihood of gun-related violence on train platforms.

ZeroEyes was founded by a group of former Navy SEALs, and the company’s platform uses hundreds of thousands of proprietary images and videos to train its AI to provide high levels of gun detection.

SEPTA is the first major transit system to deploy ZeroEyes’ solution, which is used by the U.S. Department of Defense, public school districts and universities, Fortune 500 corporate campuses, and many other organizations across more than 30 states. The SEPTA Board approved the pilot during its November meeting. Implementation will begin in approximately two months. 

“We are committed to ensuring the safety of our riders and employees,” comments Pasquale T. Deon Sr., board president, SEPTA. “While serious crimes are rare on SEPTA, evaluating this technology demonstrates the Authority’s proactive approach to security.”

ZeroEyes Platform Utilizes Unique Approach to Gun Detection

Layered on top of SEPTA’s existing security cameras, ZeroEyes’ proprietary software will identify brandished guns and alert safety personnel and local law enforcement within three to five seconds. The company explains that former U.S. military and law enforcement specialists monitor every detection 24/7/365 from the in-house ZeroEyes Operations Center (ZOC) to deliver accurate and actionable intelligence on gun-related incidents, including the gunman’s appearance, clothing, weapon, and real-time location.

Furthermore, ZeroEyes’ A.I. does not perform any facial recognition, nor receive, record, store, or share videos or images of any person.

SEPTA has more than 30,000 cameras throughout the system. The pilot program will utilize cameras at stations along the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines.

“We appreciate the Board’s support for this pilot, and it is our hope that this new technology will be another tool we can use to keep our system safe,” says Leslie S. Richards, general manager and CEO Leslie, SEPTA. “If the program is successful, we will consider deploying ZeroEyes at other locations across the network.”

Other ongoing efforts to help prevent crime on SEPTA include:

  • Increasing uniformed police presence on trains
  • Deploying dozens of outreach specialists across the system to engage members of the vulnerable community
  • Creating a virtual patrol center to monitor the surveillance camera network
  • Equipping custodians with cell phones to facilitate direct communication with police
  • Promoting the Transit Watch app, which allows riders to report concerns anonymously and discreetly

SEPTA is the major transit provider for Philadelphia and the counties of Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester. It operates bus, rapid transit, commuter rail, light rail, and electric trolleybus services for nearly 4-million people. SEPTA has the sixth-largest U.S. rapid transit system by ridership, and the fifth-largest overall transit system, with 290 active stations, over 450 miles of track, 2,350 revenue vehicles, and 196 routes.

“Our nation’s cities have been experiencing dramatic increases in violent gun-related crime, and we need more leaders like SEPTA who take proactive measures to protect the public,” notes Mike Lahiff, CEO and co-founder of ZeroEyes. “Public transportation is a crucial lifeline in urban regions, and the millions of people who rely upon it have a right to feel safe. SEPTA’s progressive approach to the problem should set the industry norm; we hope to see other public transit providers follow suit in the near future.”

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