Lampposts fitted with artificial intelligence are being set up in a popular tourist area to warn beachgoers of overcrowding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sensors are currently being installed on lampposts in Fuengirola, a city in the southern Spanish province of Malaga - which typically draws massive crowds during summer months.
The Andalusia region is reportedly the first in Spain to have the AI system, designed by a company called Juma, installed to help control beach capacity as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.
The sensors work with a programme that divides the beach into virtual squares and measures the amount of people entering and leaving at all times.
The sensors then inform tourists about the availability of space through a free mobile phone app.
The application uses a traffic-light system, with green meaning an area is fine to enter, orange meaning an area has reached 75 percent of its capacity, and red meaning an area has reached its capacity.
Carlos Moreno, the director of the company which created the system, said between 40 and 50 sensors would be needed for the seven kilometres of beaches in Fuengirola.
The AI system could also be used in other areas where people gather like shopping centres or event venues.
Ana Mula, the mayor of Fuengirola, said that with the easing of lockdown restrictions people will begin to gather in certain areas but “we should guarantee safe conditions for everybody.”
She said the system will be used as soon as the authorities open the beach back up to the public, which is expected to happen in phase 3 of the country’s easing of restrictions on June 8.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Spain has registered 228,691 cases of COVID-19 and 27,104 deaths.
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