Researchers at UNC Charlotte have been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Smart and Connected Communities program to co-develop technology to support public safety. The $1.9 million, 4-year grant will develop an optical sensing platform that uses artificial intelligence to detect and prevent street crime without the use of profiling. The technology will be developed with the cooperation of the Charlotte communities in which it will be deployed, a participatory strategy that will improve safety while respecting the needs of neighborhoods, and improve the likelihood of widespread adoption.
The project, entitled “Building Safe and Secure Communities through Real-Time Edge Video Analytics,” is led by UNC Charlotte Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Hamed Tabkhi. Co-principal investigators are Shannon Reid from the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology; Arun Ravindran from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Srinivas Pulugurtha from the IDEAS Center and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Douglas A Shoemaker from the Center for Applied Geographic Information Science.
The UNC Charlotte team’s project was selected from over 300 submitted proposals to the NSF’s Smart and Connected Communities program. The NSF has long been a leader in supporting fundamental research to equip U.S. cities and communities with more responsive and adaptive technologies and services. Smart and connected communities successfully integrate people with information and communication technologies to improve economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, and overall quality of life.