Proximus contributes to a safe start of the Tour
Tomorrow sees the start of the 106th edition of the Tour de France. While the competing teams and cyclists get ready for a stellar performance, the organizers and security services are making the final preparations to ensure the Grand Départ runs smoothly. Proximus is also contributing to this: commissioned by Brussels Major Events, Proximus will help managing the crowd flows along the course by using Real Time Crowd Management.
The crowd management tool that was developed by Proximus makes it possible to estimate the number of people located in a specific place or area based on mobile phone and smartphone signals. Thanks to the large amount of people using its mobile telephony services, Proximus is able to draw reliable and statistically relevant conclusions from the data available.
In this way security services and organizers of major events can keep track, from minute to minute, of where large crowds of people are gathered and how they move about. This enables them to ensure a smooth and streamlined organisation of the event and to intervene rapidly and efficiently whenever necessary. For example, streets can be closed off, traffic can be diverted, etc.
Specifically for the start of the Tour, the solution is being made available to the competent police services in the crisis center, in collaboration with Brussels Major Events. Based on a "heatmap", the security services receive a clear picture of the density of the crowds along the route and in certain specific areas where a lot of people are expected. The evolution over time is also mapped out. The data is processed in an anonymized and aggregated way, in line with the applicable privacy rules.
Thanks to this data, organizers and security services have an objective measuring tool that helps to estimate and manage the public flow during events as accurately as possible. Through this tool we offer cities and municipalities a smarter way of measuring, allowing them to anticipate and, if necessary, to adjust their approach. In this way, we contribute to the implementation of a clear vision on safety.
The Tour de France is not the first time that Proximus is involved in real-time crowd management. The application was previously used in the Tour of Flanders and Nokere Koerse, but it does not have to be limited to sports events. Cities and municipalities can even continuously integrate the data into their own solutions, allowing them to permanently keep a finger on the pulse.
In addition, the data analysis offers useful insights into visitors' origin, travel behavior and average length of stay, which can also be valuable from a tourism perspective.