SEPTA to pilot AI-based camera program that can detect when a gun is drawn

SEPTA will soon become the first major transit system in the country to use an artificial intelligence program to help thwart gun violence. 

Officials say they will soon roll out ZeroEyes, an artificial intelligence-based gun detection video analytics platform that can alert police within seconds. 

"We need technology to help aid in the ability to recognize that there’s trouble, that there are weapons, being produced in the system, and we’re excited about this," Acting Chief Charles Lawson said. 

ZeroEyes is already being used by the U.S. Department of Defense, public schools districts and universities, and Fortune 500 corporate campuses. It was founded by Navy SEALs and Special Operations military veterans, according to a release.


Using SEPTA's existing network of cameras, officials say ZeroEye's proprietary software can identify brandished guns and alert safety personnel and local law enforcement within three to five seconds.

Trained Navy SEALs monitor the video at a command center to make sure the threat is legitimate and send police if necessary. ZeroEyes says it does not record, store, or share any of the videos.

"It could be enough for us to intervene to stop gun violence from happening on SEPTA," Acting Chief Lawson said. "Speed with which we can start officers Into a location is key." 

The pilot program will come with a $63k price tag for the first 300 cameras and run for at least six months. If SEPTA find the program successful, officials say it could expand it to cover even more areas of the nations seventh-largest transit system.