Sport and entertainment venues are highly susceptible to the volatility introduced by the human factor, the natural phenomena and in some cases from technical faults. Such incidents have the potential, especially when not planned for and timely managed, to have a very high impact, even endangering human lives. Furthermore, new threats are emerging relating to extremist and terrorist plans to harm people attending events in large venues, as was evidenced in Stade-de-France (Paris), Hannover Stadium in 2015, Manchester Arena 2017, and the most recent Las Vegas attack at a concert in Mandalay Bay (2017). Based on Europol’s EU Terrorism situation and trend report in 2016, from 1996 until 2016 in sport events there have been reported at least 10 terrorist attempts (4 successful and 6 foiled before happening).
These facts show the worth of investing in a system that significantly increases the feeling of safety in a society currently suffering from terrorism. Current intelligence and analysis depicts that attacks to large crowd gatherings – especially within confined spaces – will increase in the years to come. Societies cannot afford to ignore the possibilities of disasters, and must do their utmost to limit their socio-economic impact.
evaGuide will do much to reduce the high costs of disasters, since an effective crisis response leads to substantial monetary savings. By helping decision makers and the actual operatives take decisions based on better and more complete data, while effectively guiding people away from dangerous situations, evaGuide will help limit the consequences of crises, ultimately saving human lives.
Thus the major societal impact foreseen is the increase of perception of security among citizens, especially in times where the threat of a terrorist attack in large crowded areas (including stadia) is considered as imminent, and the minimization of potential loss of lives or injuries during an evacuation due to timely and more efficient decisions taken with the help of evaGuide. In such cases, it is of utmost importance that the facility operator plans ahead and in cooperation with safety/security authorities, with alternative evacuation plans that consider the adverse effects of critical structural damage due to explosions and fires that aim to neutralise the response of the safety authorities and increase the victim count. Quick decision-making will be required and therefore real-time situational awareness is critical to effectively manage crises occurring in large infrastructures involving crowds.
Advances in crowd behaviour modelling combined with enablement coming from the Internet of Things, computer vision technology, real-time analytics and crowd behavioural simulation techniques, allow for the integration into the evaGuide end-to-end solution. Therefore, evaGuide is a robust, technology-driven value proposition that comes at the right point in time to address emerging needs. This will help avoid disasters due to wrong calls, like the ones in Hillsborough (96 people crashed to death due to wrong call by police), the stampede at PhilSports (73 deaths, 300 injured) and the panic created very recently, after the bomb exploded in the Manchester arena.