An $86 million project in 57 lines of code

08/2017: Australia – a story of ANPR (automatic number plate recognition)  that captures the imagination; prototyping a vehicle-mounted license plate scanner that would automatically notify you if a vehicle had been stolen or was unregistered results in the ability to takes an image from a dashcam video, push it through an open source license plate recognition system installed locally on the device, query the registration check service and return the results for display. to read more, click here.

Of course, we have such systems here and have done for many years.  Possibly there are those readers who recall Operation Igneous from the late 90’s (or am i just showing my age – and still functioning memory?).  ANPR engaged by numerous organisations such a the obvious constabularies to parking organisations but the ability for such devices to be fitted to consumer (?) vehicles is intriguing, exciting or possibly worrying (for some) … a world of ‘always open’ eyes patrolling the streets in the course of everyday activities appears to be a far better answer to ‘surveillance’ than stationary ANPR poles / cameras.  some things to consider:

Dashcams are here, our roads are alive with them:

  • in 2015 it was reported dashcam sales were up by over 900% – click here
  • Are dashcams legal – click here
  • 17% use dashcams – set to rise to 50%? – click here

But do dashcams really lull drivers into a false sense of security as has been written – click here? Apparently, according to a report by the BBC, all four police forces in Wales are to start using dashcam footage recorded by the public to investigate driving offences following a successful pilot scheme by North Wales Police. Whilst concerns have been raised, it appears these can be allayed by some proactive, logical action; set out simple guidelines for the use of the evidence that is the video captured.

In the meantime, whilst the ’57 lines of code’ maybe no more than hype, it stimulates the imagination and if as cost effective process, could provide another investigative tool for law enforcement but possibly more importantly, a deterrent.