Japanese J1 League football club Kashima Antlers has joined forces with the country’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) on a new venture to manage crowd movement at the team’s Kashima Soccer Stadium.

The research institute, part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will deploy its AI-based ‘people flow analysis’ program to generate simulations of crowds that show fan movement. This will enable the club to see ‘choke points’ and areas where supporters move freely.

The Antlers intend to use the simulator throughout the 2018 season to combat issues it has encountered with supporters exiting the stadium after home games, with the large number of fans leaving at the same time often leading to crowding.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the simulator will be able to analyse the flow of people at locations inside the stadium in order to determinate ways to ease congestion when they leave, which will in turn not only help to prevent accidents, but increase sales an in-stadium stores.

AIST has already trialled the system in two live evacuation drills at the New National Theater Tokyo in the country’s capital, analysing how an audience of more than 1,000 would react to an earthquake situation.

The first drill looked at how the audience reacted, with these findings then used to improve evacuation routes, which were then applied for the second drill and, as such, resulted in a smoother evacuation process.

Image: Waka77