The Municipality of The Hague recently tested the possibility of using smart cameras to detect laughing gas abuse and to forward a live report to enforcement so that it can act while preserving privacy.

During the test day, the innovative solution from Avutec (producer of smart cameras) and Monotch (developer of C-ITS platforms) was checked with the help of the municipality. Avutec’s AI cameras were trained on how to detect various nitrous oxide balloons. The data (no footage because of privacy) from the detection was sent directly to the municipality’s enforcement organisation via the Monotch TLEX® platform – a Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (C-ITS) solution.

During the test day, the group did not only test the reliability of the technology behind the visual detection of undesirable behaviour. Additionally, they checked whether the notifications got through properly and whether the enforcement organisation could take targeted action on the basis of smart technology.

The testing phase affirmed the functionality of the algorithm, providing a green light for subsequent steps aimed at refining detection for smart camera use, all in a bid to foster a secure and pleasant environment.

“Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, we have trained our cameras with specially curated datasets to identify both balloons used for laughing gas and people. These datasets incorporate a diverse range of people, groups, and balloons of various shapes and colours. The system’s algorithm integrates these identifications, thereby minimizing the risk of false alarms. It enables the surveillance system to accurately target and follow up on the actual perpetrators,” explains Walter Verbruggen, Sales Director at Avutec.

“What makes this total solution unique is immediately sending a signal to the enforcement department so that it can respond quickly and adequately. This all happens in fractions of seconds via our platform,” says Gary Lin, International Business Developer at Monotch.

“The Municipality of The Hague wants to reduce any drugs-related nuisance and therefore uses the most advanced technologies available. Partnering with Avutec and Monotch allowed us to test the state-of-the-art AI-integrated solution that helps us keep The Hague a wonderful place to live,” confirms Anouk Zwaan, Safety Coordinator of the Municipality of The Hague.

The enforcement organisation of The Hague currently has its hands full reducing the nuisance on and around the boulevard of Scheveningen. The hotline receives many reports about parking misery, traffic violations, noise nuisance and other undesirable behaviour. The use of laughing gas can cause some of this nuisance.

In addition to deploying more enforcers, the municipality is implementing stricter parking policies. They also have a special app that residents can use to report nuisance. Furthermore, the municipality is considering the deployment of visual detection technology to identify and address undesirable behaviour. This new approach will enable them to act more quickly and in a more targeted manner.

Source: Monotch