Nilay Kulkarni, a software programmer and the co-founder and CTO of Ashioto Analytics, delivered a talk on crowd flow for TED to discuss changes that could be made to prevent human stampedes, and the tragic injuries and deaths that can be a result of them.
Kulkarni starts out his talk on crowd flow by considering his experiences taking part in large-scale religious festivals in India. During these times, millions of people go to specific locations to celebrate their faith. Growing up surrounded by these experiences, Kulkarni began thinking of ways to prevent the thousands of deaths that would occur in the resulting human stampedes, promoting him to think of ways to prevent them. After much brainstorming, Kulkarni arrived on a real-time and low-cost solution that uses easily accessible data: portable walking mats that count the number of people that cross over them. The data collected by the mats are communicated through a cloud server, and the counts are then stored and shown in a web dashboard.
With this initiative, Kulkarni has been able to ensure a safe crowd flow at events in India, and prevent the stampedes that can be caused through overcrowding and disorganization. Although the crowd flow mats have primarily been used for religious festivals so far, Kulkarni shows that they would also prove useful at large concerts, carnivals, sporting events, and more.
Preventing Stampedes with Data
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