New ‘AI’ speed camera can scan drivers inside cars

In a world first, the UK has introduced AI speed cameras which have the ability to scan drivers inside their cars if they are breaking the speed limit. The camera can be found on the A23 in Lambeth, South London and uses a 4D radar and high-resolution cameras to detect if a driver is speeding.

It can also be used to see if someone is using their phone, not wearing their seatbelt and if there are too many people inside the vehicle.

The technology can monitor up to six lanes of traffic and is expected to be integrated to work with other cameras along the stretch of road.

Redspeed International, the developers of the technology, said the Sentio camera could be linked with DVLA and UK police databases.

This would make it easier for the cameras to simultaneously check that drivers have paid their road tax and car insurance and potentially aid with any prosecution.

Commenting on the rollout, Simon Williams, road safety spokesperson for the RAC, pointed out that all cameras must be painted yellow so the Sentio camera will be obvious to drivers on the road.

He added: “While some drivers may criticise these cameras for unwanted snooping, the reality is that these days the police increasingly rely on technology to catch drivers breaking the law – after all, it’s impossible to have a police officer stationed on every street corner.

“When it comes to drivers using handheld phones illegally, we also know from research that drivers are broadly supportive of camera-based technology being used to enforce the law.”

Mr Williams added that people who stick to the speed limit and obey the law have nothing to worry about.

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Most experts stressed the importance of having the cameras set up in a way in which drivers can easily dispute any fines which they deem to be unfair.

Even with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, drivers have reported receiving fines for unnecessary reasons.

The most common instance of this is with Clean Air Zones, with motorists who live hundreds of miles away being slapped with hefty fines even though they weren’t actually the ones breaking the rules.

However, there were some critics who viewed the new speed deterrent as a more dangerous route into the automation of motoring.

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Jake Hurfurt, Head of Big Brother Watch, said: “This kind of intrusive and creepy surveillance, which treats every passer-by as a potential suspect, is excessive and normalising.

“It poses a threat to everyone’s privacy. People should be free to go about their lives without being analysed by faceless AI systems.”

This comes as a number of police forces around the UK are trialling new methods to catch dangerous drivers on roads and motorways.

New “stealth” speed camera vans have been seen in Northamptonshire, with experts predicting that they could be seen around the UK if they are successful.

The “stealth vans” are repurposed old mobile speed vans which have been wrapped in a grey coating, much different to the usual white and fluorescent yellow and orange markings.

They are being rolled out to deter drivers from speeding in areas which may not have speed cameras and see higher-than-average rates of speeding. Police forces have also started using unmarked HGVs and lorries to spot people driving dangerously.

From the elevated position in the cab, police officers can spot drivers who may be using their mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt or being distracted by other passengers.

The enforcement operation caught hundreds of people who were not paying attention to the road ahead and could be seen to pose a risk to other road users.

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