Physical distancing with 3D sensors at Stuttgart Airport


Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Xovis has been working closely with our airport customers to better understand what new operational challenges are emerging across the globe. "Physical Distancing" became not just a buzzword but a day-to-day reality and airports have had to rapidly develop plans on how to ensure passengers' safety, especially in queues. Making sure that passengers could keep in line with the recommended (or even regulated) distancing measures by public health authorities was key. Floor markers were the most readily available, inexpensive and "low-tech" solution in the beginning of the pandemic, but these have their drawbacks – a main one being that it is difficult to monitor passenger compliance.

Within record time, a multi-disciplinary team at Xovis set out to leverage the industry-leading accuracy of our 3D sensors to manage physical distancing. It took six weeks for a first version to be ready for our customers. Just like that, monitoring live crowd density as well as historic crowd movement to detect where passengers were getting too close to each other became possible. The Xovis Passenger Tracking System (PTS) can now be set to trigger staff interventions or loudspeaker announcements when physical distancing measures are not being maintained. In later versions of the software, we added the Physical Distancing Indicator to give both operational staff and management a quick overview of the situation at their airport.


Stuttgart Airport has been using the Xovis PTS for wait time measurements for over five years. With a simple software update, they were able to start using our physical distancing module before traffic increased again during summer vacation. Stuttgart Airport's story has been featured in one of Germany's highest circulating newspapers, Süddeutsche Zeitung: