Sydney Uses Cameras to Catch Drivers Using Phones

The city of Sydney is going high-tech to catch drivers who use their phones whilst behind the wheel of a moving car. The tech, by a company called Acusensus, is the first of its kind in the world.

During a month-long test period in October, as many as 11,000 transgressors were identified on average EACH DAY.

The Acusensus system uses high-definition cameras and artificial intelligence to detect the distracted drivers. If traffic officers are worried about their jobs, they should be, at least a little. The system operates around the clock and can detect cars that are moving at speeds of up to 300kph. It can capture images of what happens behind the car windshields, which are then analysed by the AI; those capturing wrongdoings then go through another round of review by a human (just to be sure).

The developer, Alex Jannink, worked on the technology after a close friend of his was killed by a distracted driver. During the trial, the system record various types of distracted driving, including one driver whose two hands were occupied by the phone, while the passenger held the steering wheel—the car was travelling at 80kph at that time.

Image source: via

The cameras have gone on official duty since 7 January, in two locations in the city—the Clunies Ross Street overpass on the M4 motorway and on Anzac Parade— as well as one mobile device.

According the New South Wales Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey, 74% of the NSW residents support the use of the mobile-detection cameras. Would you like the system to be installed in your neighbourhood? We certainly need it in ours.

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