The New South Wales Government has trialled new AI technology at Accor Stadium during the Taylor Swift Eras Tour, in order to provide a smooth and safe entrance for the more than 80,000 fans expected to fill the venue.

Staff at Sydney Olympic Park and Transport for NSW have been working hard behind the scenes on each of the four nights, acting as eyes in the sky to support crowd control at the stadium’s high-tech coordination centre.

The AI program combines features such as de-identified CCTV footage, weather data and social media to accurately predict crowd movements and mood around the stadium.

This allows teams to prevent problems before they occur and implement a range of measures like opening more exits, redirecting people, giving live updates, deploying more staff or playing music to keep the mood up.

This is the biggest test yet for the trial, which kicked off in 2023 as part of the New South Wales Government’s $45 million Smart Places Acceleration Program.

The technology has been successfully used for other events including the recent Laneway Festival and Big Bash League cricket.

Signs with QR codes were placed around the stadium for people keen to learn more about the technology and provide feedback. 

The trial has been rigorously assessed under the New South Wales Government’s AI Assurance Framework to ensure the use of the new technology is ethical and real benefits are delivered to the community without compromising privacy or data security.

New South Wales Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen, said that the Taylor Swift Eras Tour is one of the biggest ever turn-outs at Sydney Olympic Park, with unprecedented crowd levels inside and outside the stadium.

“Crowds of this magnitude can be unpredictable, and we want to do everything we can to make sure people are safe and comfortable while moving around,” Ms Haylen said. 

“The shows will be unforgettable for tens of thousands of Swifties, and this technology will help staff ensure the mood stays positive even when people are stuck in foot traffic leaving the venue after the superstar has belted her final note.

“These kinds of events are a huge test for our public transport network, and I want to thank Swifties for their patience and understanding, and our frontline staff for their massive efforts.

“Embracing world-class technology is essential to making people’s journeys easier, safer and more reliable than ever before.”

New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully, said that this new technology provides real-time insights to help make every experience at Sydney Olympic Park a great one.

“With large events drawing crowds of more than ten million visitors to the precinct each year, it’s important we use state-of-the-art tools to inform operations, keep people comfortable and avoid serious incidents,” Mr Scully said. 

“The software gives precinct staff an idea of crowd movements and capacities. It cannot be used for surveillance, tracking, or facial recognition, meaning individuals are never identifiable.”

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