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In Ahmedabad, 2,700 CCTV cameras hit the brakes on speeding for year | Ahmedabad News – Times of India

AHMEDABAD: In the wake of the Iskcon flyover tragedy, which unfolded nearly two months ago, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation had vowed to turn its swarm of 2,700 smart CCTV surveillance cameras into the city’s vigilant guardians against speed demons.
But here’s a kicker: Instead of instilling fear in the hearts of speeding drivers, these AI-powered gadgets are, in fact, quite blind to those burning the rubber. What’s worse, the camera will remain blind for over a year – the time needed to train the AI software to detect the speed of vehicles during the day and night. In fact, the artificial intelligence software needs substantial improvements in accurately detecting a slew of traffic and civic infractions.
“It will take more than a year to train the AI software to detect the speed of vehicles at night and at least six months to detect it during the daytime,” confessed a high-ranking official from the Smart City Ahmedabad Development Limited (SCADL), led by AMC.
In July, the AMC had issued tenders to upgrade its CCTV surveillance systems with AI-based software and hardware updates.
Cameras can spot only 2 types of violations
In July, the AMC issued tenders to upgrade its CCTV surveillance systems with AI-based software and hardware updates, intending to assist the police in performing people searches based on descriptions or details like age, height, body width, and gender.
The system was also expected to match people’s faces with police sketches or photographs uploaded anywhere in the city. The SCADL recently released tenders seeking proposals from IT-based service providers to make upgrades to support the implementation of the e-challan system as part of the Safe & Secure Ahmedabad (SASA) project.
However, the technological blind spot came to light when TOI got its hands on the minutes of a pre-bid meeting where software vendors were rather candid in their answers. The AMC asked them a straightforward question in Clause 2.31 of the Request for Proposal (RFP): “Is a speed detection camera (function) available?” The reply, as recorded by the AMC, was a clear “no”.
This is quite a revelation as the corporation had splurged crores on installing these supposedly ‘smart’ CCTV systems citywide. They were meant to be souped up to detect as many as 34 types of traffic and civic violations. But hold on to your seatbelts. In reality, these cameras can spot only two types of transgressions: red light jumpers and stop line violators. Not exactly the crime-spotting marvel the city was hoping for.
The AMC initially wanted the system to detect violations 24×7, with a minimum of 70% accuracy. Each passing year, this was to be increased by 10% until it achieved a maximum accuracy of 90%. However, the vendors made it clear that it was an impossible task. They also asserted that it would take at least a year for the software to be trained to detect speeding violations with up to 60% accuracy.
After consulting with them, AMC attached Corrigendum 1 to the RFP document for the CCTV surveillance system upgrade. This document mentioned that the accuracy of these cameras in detecting violations will be 60% for the first year, with a 10% increase each subsequent year for both day and night.

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