What are noise detection cameras and how will they hit the UK’s loudest drivers? | Technology News

There is no shortage of speed cameras on UK roads, and many of us have probably encountered them at some point.

But soon, more of the transportation network will be in the spotlight with another technology that monitors the way we drive.

Over the next few weeks, the noise detection cameras will be shipped to more parts of the country.

Initially deployed in the Bradford area, Drivers in parts of Birmingham, Bristol and Norfolk will also be monitored.

If the expanded trial proves successful, the rest of the UK is likely to follow.

So how do they work?

Speed ​​cameras are all familiar to us—they use sensors or radars on the road to monitor vehicles, capturing digital images of anything that detects things going too fast.

The noise camera will also feature a camera, but instead of being called by speed, it will use the onboard microphone to take sound levels into account.

The records are accurate enough, or should be, to identify exactly which vehicle is behind an annoying noise, whether it’s unwanted engine revs or loud illegal exhaust.

They will also be able to distinguish these sounds from the wider environment.

“The combination of a Shazam and a regular license plate camera,” says Sharon Kindleysides, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

“The camera does what it does best, looking at the number plate, what type of vehicle it is,” she told Sky News.

“The microphone can pick up on noise patterns to identify it’s a vehicle, maybe a loud exhaust, and not a construction site or someone playing a stereo that’s too loud.”

Illustrated photo showing Shazam app on mobile phone on December 12, 2017.  REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration
Shazam is a popular mobile app for listening and identifying music

How will the recordings be used?

The Department of Transport said the audio would form a “digital evidence package” along with the images.

Police will review the documents to see if fines need to be issued as part of a “crackdown on those who break legal noise limits or make excessive noise with illegally modified exhausts”.

Road regulations say vehicle exhausts and mufflers should be properly maintained and not altered to increase the noise levels produced. Lack of compliance can result in a £50 on-site fine.

Ms Kindleysides said more human input may be required during the pilot phase.

“In the early days, I imagine there will be a lot of manual intervention until they prove it works,” she said.

read more:
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What are smart highways and why are they shelved?

Warning about the use of traffic cameras on the road
The new camera is said to be similar to a speed camera, but with extra equipment

What will the future of noise cameras look like?

If the expanded trial is deemed successful, the government says the cameras could be rolled out more widely.

The next stage will see their exact location depend on the impact of noisy vehicles on locals.

Ms Kindleysides said the technology could be targeted, for example against cars idling outside schools.

“Speed ​​cameras are ubiquitous, but this will be more niche and may be relevant to local authorities (in terms of where they are used),” she added.

Sam Lancia of video security firm Ava Security expects the technology to become more widespread.

“If the technology becomes widespread, it will also be critical to expedite post-mortem investigations and increase transparency,” he said.

“Noise-detection cameras provide more detail into anything that might be happening, and we should expect their use to grow rapidly.”

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