AI enforcement tool catches texters down under

It had to happen, just as with ANPR (automatic number-plate recognition) cameras we now have a texter cam.

Australian law enforcement are rolling out AI equipped cameras to look down from overhead gantries through a vehicle’s windscreen to see if drivers are using handheld devices. The algo searches the scene to spot the driver (presumably they have one hand on the steering wheel) and possibly the other hand is holding a mobile device.

They seem to get clear images despite the problem of reflections from the sky, presumably polarizing filters are used. Although they claim to get usable results in all weathers, it isn’t certain whether they can work too well at night but maybe they switch to infrared illumination then.

Apparently they have already caught 100,000 drivers in just six months!

Meanwhile on the top of the world in the UK, the Thames Valley and Hampshire Police, in an effort to crackdown on the illegal use of mobiles whilst driving, have launched a system this year which detects mobile signals coming from a car.

If your jaw hasn’t dropped at the absurdity of it already, it soon will. Mobiles on the move are constantly sending small burst of data even before the smart phone came along. They have to negotiate cellular mast changeover as they move. A text message being received by a driver isn’t illegal, it’s only illegal to read it whilst driving. A passenger in the car may be the user of the mobile and that cannot be detected by this system. Some high-end vehicles use mobile networks to enable tracking and data analytics without the driver even knowing. Smart phones are constantly chattering away unknown to the user. Plus smart phones can be used as sat-navs. So the sensing of RF emissions from a moving vehicle really tells you nothing about anything illegal going on.

It will not come as a surprise dear readers that this ‘technology’ is not being used for law enforcement. In the words of Homer Simpson, “Doh!” More tax payers money down the drain.

Leave a Comment