Cameras in London that track social distance

In London and other major cities in the UK, a system has been introduced to track social distance. Its creators assure that all collected data is anonymous.

Artificial intelligence (AI) cameras have begun to be used in London and other UK cities to monitor social distance. These sensors were developed by Vivacity to track traffic, cyclists, and pedestrians, and to monitor how heavily the roads are being used.

But when the country introduced a quarantine regime in March, Vivacity added an additional feature to its AI scanners to record the distance between pedestrians. These data are reported to the government in a monthly report. The Vivacity lab said they have installed over 1,000 cameras across the UK, in cities such as London, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, and Nottingham.

Vivacity Chief Operating Officer Peter Mildon said the data is potentially “useful for policy decisions” on movement restrictions.

He emphasized that cameras are not part of the CCTV system – they work as a data collection device, not as a camera that stores footage. “They don’t record video, they don’t stream it, and nobody actually watches it,” the engineer said.

The researchers also note that their data is completely anonymous and does not differ from data on how a particular road is used. But based on this information, the authorities can both improve the space and make it completely safe.

“The idea is to provide an evidence base to verify that the restrictions being implemented work and that the population is complying with them”, the researchers noted.