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NYPD and MTA institute Knightscope security robot test pilot

NYPD and MTA institute Knightscope security robot test pilot

NYPD and MTA institute Knightscope test pilot

NEW YORK – The New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) are vetting the robots from Knightscope as a possible security solution and crime deterrent.

The Office of the Mayor of New York issued a press release discussing the institution of a pilot program for Knightscope’s K5 security robots following a two-week training period, after which the autonomous robots will have patrol duties in Manhattan’s subway stations between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

“When people feel unsafe to use our trains and buses, it impacts our economic stability as well; and so, we must use every available method to continue to see our city be the safest big city in America,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said. “And that's what we're doing. We're taking existing technology, cameras being able to communicate with people, and we're placing it on wheels and ensuring that it could be used 24 hours, seven days a week if needed, but it will be there for proper use all the time.”

In its own press release, Knightscope highlighted statistics from the NYPD that saw a 45% surge of shoplifting in the city and noted that their robot platform was already being put to use by other police departments in the country, including those in Los Angeles County.

“Imagine a city-wide robotic platform designed to identify repeat shoplifters and alert stores when they enter. A system that can discreetly monitor customers' hand movements, instantly notifying security when suspicious, rapid swiping motions occur, a hallmark of shoplifters,” Knightscope said. “Advanced AI-powered security cameras and autonomous security robots are already being utilized in an effort to get New York City back on its feet post-CV19 by enhancing retailers' ability to catch shoplifters in their tracks.”

Mayor Adams highlighted the potential cost benefits to the city if successful, with the robot’s operations costing less than minimum wage. The mayor also stated that if a K5 unit is damaged, Knightscope will be the ones opting to pay. “We are not doing facial recognition. We are not allowing them to own the video. This robot is on a two-month trial period to see its effectiveness; and based on our determination, we will see how we're going to use it continuously,” Adams added.


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