Carpool Camera System Counts Heads, Tickets Solo Drivers
Leave it to the Brits to take traffic surveillance to the next level. Worried that drivers may be getting away with violating the car share lane (carpool lane to us Yanks), Leeds is testing a new camera system that actually detects the blood and water content of human skin to determine how many occupants are in the vehicle. BBC reports the system, developed by researchers at Loughborough University, uses two wavelengths of infrared (IR) light and special algorithms to distinguish faces and count heads. If it finds more than one, it lets the car pass. If it detects only one occupant, it takes a photo of the license plate and records date, time and speed. Developers say it's accurate 90 percent of the time– and isn't fooled by large dogs, dummies or cosmetics. They didn't say if the system could be disabled by transmitting an IR signal back at it or if heat reflections from different color cars would affect its accuracy. Or what happens when there's a small child in a carrier in the back seat that may not be in the camera's line of vision. There seems to be several questions they need to address before they start using the system to prosecute solo drivers. But where there's dosh, there's development.
90% accuracy could mean only that 90% of solo drivers get caught. This doesn't necessarily mean that 10% of carpoolers will be incorrectly flagged. A test for 2 people in the vehicle that has a bunch of false positives by no false negatives could work just fine.
Man that country scares me more and more every day, and makes me less likely to ever be a tourist.
That is disturbing. Another reason to not go to that real life 1984-style police state. Just as long as they don't do that here, I should be ok, though. Here in Phoenix, the governor, Janet Napolitano, is currently attempting to put in dozens of speed cameras, specifically for revenue. They don't even hide it anymore. It's never been about safety, so now they just out and say it: "We're doing this for money." Disturbing and scary stuff. But it's hard to know what to do to fight back. How do I respond to that?