UK Installs First Roadway AI Camera System

    UK Installs First Roadway AI Camera System
    Last updated Aug 17, 2023
    Image credit: Vladislav Glukhotko [via Unsplash]


    • The UK has installed its first artificial intelligence (AI)-based, free-standing camera system and has caught nearly 300 drivers breaking the law within the first 72 hours of its installation.
    • Installed on a busy stretch of the A30 near Launceston, Cornwall in Devon, the state-of-the-art surveillance system uses AI technology to identify drivers committing infractions and refer them to authorities. All detected violations are then reviewed by a human to determine whether an offense had occurred.
    • Depending on the severity of the violation, drivers are sent either a warning letter or a notice of intended prosecution. In the first three days of operation, the cameras detected 117 cell phone offenses and 180 seat belt infractions.
    • Last September, road safety charity Vision Zero South West conducted a 15-day trial with the cameras, catching 590 drivers not wearing seatbelts and 40 using their phones while driving. Cornwall and Devon hope the cameras address road safety issues that led to 48 deaths and 738 serious injuries in 2022.
    • The AI system uses multiple cameras with high shutter speeds, infrared flash, and a lensing and filtering system to produce clear images of moving vehicles. Local police say the technology is necessary to convey that those who break the rules of the road will be caught.
    • Authorities claim that while the majority of drivers follow the rules, a small subsect “are still putting people’s lives at risk.” The UK has also tried implementing cameras to detect loud noises, which has 58% approval according to a new survey.


    Establishment-critical narrative

    Just when you thought mass surveillance couldn’t become more Orwellian, Big Brother steps up his game. The proliferation of AI technology always brought the potential to be misused by power-hungry governments, and the UK is providing another example of this dystopian overreach. The surveillance state already does enough creepy spying on its citizens, and it doesn't need to monitor everyone while they’re driving.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    With dozens of deaths and hundreds of severe injuries happening on the road last year in Cornwall and Devon, it's clear that the new AI camera system is needed to keep people safe. Last year’s trial caught more than 600 violations in 15 days, and the new system detected 300 in just three. The roads are a shared space for all, and people must be held accountable for actions that not only endanger their lives but could also harm others. This AI-assisted system enhances public safety.

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