Speed ​​camera developers face UK driver abuse Road safety

The developers of a new app that uses artificial intelligence to gauge the speed of a passing car say they have been forced to become anonymous because of the brutal reaction of drivers.

Gadget Speedcam anywhere, is the product of a team of AI researchers with Silicon Valley companies and top UK universities. Its developers hope this will encourage police to take speeding more seriously and allow residents, pedestrians and cyclists to document traffic crimes in their area.

But since he was released in March, the team has been subjected to such vitriol that they are afraid to share their true identities. “We are receiving quite offensive emails. “said Sam, the program’s founder, who wanted to remain anonymous. “It’s a Marmite product – some people think it’s a good idea, others think it’s a state of observation.

“I see both sides of that, but I think if you are subject to speed limits, then you are complying with the law and enforcing it. This is not personal revenge on anyone, just how can we make our roads safe? 20,000 serious injuries occur on the roads every year – how can we reduce them? And the way we reduce them is a deterrent to speeding.

One online review of the app reads: “In East Germany, citizens have been urged to report their neighbors to Stasi, even for the slightest violation of society. Congratulations on creating a modern version of this. If you can’t tell, I’m sarcastic. This app is disgusting to me.

The program encountered difficulties. Google refused to allow the team to publish it on the Play Store, saying it was impossible to estimate the speed of a passing vehicle using artificial intelligence alone, a claim that proved false when the company demonstrated the technology. An iOS version has also been developed, but Apple has yet to confirm its distribution and has not given a reason for the delay. “We’re not sure why they’re blocking useful technology that could save lives,” Sam said.

For several years now, police forces have been accepting user-uploaded traffic crime footage. This has allowed some citizens, such as cyclist Mike van Erp, to present evidence that has led to hundreds of criminal cases for unsafe driving. “We’ve expanded the capabilities of device camera systems to automate the forensic image analysis already performed by device cameras. So instead of a person watching a video about a crime, we’ve created software that automates the process.

The app cannot force drivers to get tickets for speeding. Because the Speedcam Anywhere algorithm has not been tested by the Home Office, it is not legally a speedometer and cannot provide enough evidence to prosecute police for speeding, although a broader “dangerous driving” offense may apply if the driver. is negligent enough.

However, it is hoped that widespread use of the app will alert police to speeding spots and encourage more action to prevent dangerous driving. “I think it’s a step on a larger journey to make our roads safer and more accessible to everyone.

“Having roads that are too dangerous for children to cycle to school, too dangerous for parents to let their children do – I think it’s wrong, and society has to overcome it. Make the roads safer, make them less uncomfortable, and then we can start looking for more ways to move.

Apple has been contacted for a comment.

How Speedcam Anywhere works.

  • The user of the app opens it after hearing the car approaching and captures the passing car.

  • The app uses the passing car number to search the DVLA’s public registration database to find the make and model of the car.

  • From there, it determines the distance between the axles of the car and compares it to the footage to calculate the speed.

  • The user then has the option to save the video or create a report from it to share with the authorities.

Godfrey Kemp

"Bacon fanatic. Social media enthusiast. Music practitioner. Internet scholar. Incurable travel advocate. Wannabe web junkie. Coffeeaholic. Alcohol fanatic."

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