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Google gone undercover?

By kehpaso 21 October 2010 37

car sensor

I spotted this interesting looking car  in Barton just the other day. Any ideas what it could be used for?

sensor close up

mystery sensor


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Google gone undercover?
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facet 2:14 pm 22 Oct 10

A few years ago the Motor Traffic people came around our work carpark and found an unroadworthy, unregistered car, put a sticker on the windscreen and took away the cars number plates. A few days later the car was back with number plates (taken from another car perhaps). Does this new system allow for these vehicles to be towed away, impounded, sold or scapped. Sending out a nasty letter to the last known registered owner would not worry those who are already breaking the law.

p1 2:01 pm 22 Oct 10

Me no fry said :

Here’s a question, can RAPID distinguish between identical numberplates issued in different states? I recall a few years back, some ACT drivers getting speeding fines from NSW as the RTA had issued some Y series plates that matched existing ACT plates.

Does it also recognise the difference between different sorts of vehicles? Because I have a friend with the same plates on his car and motorbike.

Diggety 1:59 pm 22 Oct 10

@ Me no fry: Yes.

Me no fry 1:36 pm 22 Oct 10

Skidbladnir said :

Assistant Commissioner Quaedvlieg: It will notify to the police officers at that site whether that vehicle is unregistered, whether it is uninsured, whether the person driving is an unlicensed driver, and whether the person driving is a person who is of interest or is wanted on a warrant—and that person and that vehicle will then be intercepted.

Call me pedantic, but I think Quaddie meant to say “the registered owner” (or possibly even “the last known registered owner”) and not “the person driving”, given that the car needs to be stopped to establish the exact connection between driver and ownership of driven vehicle.

Not, I hasten to add, that I have any problems with the concept of identifying unregistered/uninsured vehicles and removing them from the roads.

Here’s a question, can RAPID distinguish between identical numberplates issued in different states? I recall a few years back, some ACT drivers getting speeding fines from NSW as the RTA had issued some Y series plates that matched existing ACT plates.

Tooks 9:57 am 22 Oct 10

Chaz said :

more revenue raising.
things like this do not combat the problem of bad driving.

Rather than comment on the stupidity of your post, I’ll point you to Johnboy’s post at #31.

Tooks 9:55 am 22 Oct 10

Deano said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

That gives us a basic model of revenue of around $2,000 per hour over a seven-hour day over 240 days per year

Ahhahahaaaha.

No, I think the correct response is:

Cah-ching!

However if you’re unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured, or have an outstanding warrant you’ll be safe driving after business hours, and all day on weekends and public holidays.

It’s great police don’t work after business hours, or weekends, or public holidays. You can get away with everything.

Chaz said :

more revenue raising.
things like this do not combat the problem of bad driving.

It may not combat bad driving but if it catches people driving unregistered cars surely that is a good thing?

    johnboy 9:42 am 22 Oct 10

    *puts record on*

    Unregistered vehicles are massively represented in crashed.

    Because cockheads who can’t even manage to register their car are the sort of cockheads who run into other people.

    Identifying them and swiftly removing them from the road in the short term makes us safer.

    In the long term more of them will register their vehicles but still be cockheads. That’s a problem for tomorrow, although at least they’ll be insured.

Erg0 9:34 am 22 Oct 10

facet said :

Does this system catch interstate registration for example, all those bad people from Queanbeyan?

I believe that “flagged” number plates are shared between states. Might have read that on here, actually.

p1 9:13 am 22 Oct 10

I wonder what the laws are concerning setting something like this up on your own car?

Taking photos on the public street part is perfectly legal. But does that change if you start using a computer to read the plate numbers, then store them in a database against geo-location and time?

‘Cause I imagine that some of the larger retail chains could be interested in the habits of their customers. If every coles or woolworths had these at the entrances to their car parks they could start to track you in much more detail. Link that with their existing data mining loyalty card program…

facet 8:51 am 22 Oct 10

Does this system catch interstate registration for example, all those bad people from Queanbeyan?

Usermane 12:49 am 22 Oct 10

MJay said :

I didn’t know the police force knocked off at 5.

They have to take the hire car back.

rogerthat 12:11 am 22 Oct 10

Some cops get to cruise the highways & byways of Capital City on custom Harleys, while others get to drive Lancers.

MJay 10:54 pm 21 Oct 10

Deano said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

That gives us a basic model of revenue of around $2,000 per hour over a seven-hour day over 240 days per year

Ahhahahaaaha.

No, I think the correct response is:

Cah-ching!

However if you’re unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured, or have an outstanding warrant you’ll be safe driving after business hours, and all day on weekends and public holidays.

I didn’t know the police force knocked off at 5.

Deano 10:32 pm 21 Oct 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

That gives us a basic model of revenue of around $2,000 per hour over a seven-hour day over 240 days per year

Ahhahahaaaha.

No, I think the correct response is:

Cah-ching!

However if you’re unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured, or have an outstanding warrant you’ll be safe driving after business hours, and all day on weekends and public holidays.

Skidbladnir 10:24 pm 21 Oct 10

moneypenny2612 said :

How can scanning the number plate reveal whether the person driving is an unlicensed driver, and whether the person driving is a person who is of interest or is wanted on a warrant?

Colour me skeptical…

Create a temporary table of cars spotted by RAPID with timestamp and geolocation attributes (‘Input’), then run a series of processes against your input table.
Five or six TNF RDBMS tables and a set of inner or left outer joins depending on the data requirements of the operational needs, maybe?

Anything that returns a positive for those processes gets some form of action, ranging from ‘pass on to Traffic Operations for later administrative followup’ up to ‘Alert nearby patrol cars immediately’.

It won’t be a case of total information awareness of actual drivers, but you certainly have enough data to at least pursue further enquiries.

For more serious contact events the alert wouldn’t be evidence on their own (stolen cars will be ‘clean’ cars), but it makes an immediate step up for patrolling officers from not knowing anything about a nearby vehicle.
This is why police want it.

For the simpler traffic infringements, they send out paperwork to registered owners informing them that they are responsible for cars not reported stolen, and they have been assumed to be driving at the time and location specified (‘Input’).
Provide them with options of either accepting liability, paying the fine themselves, or attributing the act of illegal driving onto someone else via a Stat Dec.
This is why politicians give approval to ‘accessing the $2000/hr revenue stream’, bureaucracy is what they are good at.

The most difficult element of the whole system was likely turning an in-the-field contact event into an accurate data input in time to be useful to policing operations.

MJay 10:00 pm 21 Oct 10

moneypenny2612 said :

Skidbladnir said :


Assistant Commissioner Quaedvlieg: Sure. They are a dedicated, full-time team. They will be operating vehicles which are equipped with the RAPID technology. The RAPID technology is an electronic detection system. It works on digital video. It scans the number plates of vehicles as they drive past the point of the vehicle. It will notify to the police officers at that site whether that vehicle is unregistered, whether it is uninsured, whether the person driving is an unlicensed driver, and whether the person driving is a person who is of interest or is wanted on a warrant—and that person and that vehicle will then be intercepted.

How can scanning the number plate reveal whether the person driving is an unlicensed driver, and whether the person driving is a person who is of interest or is wanted on a warrant?

Colour me skeptical…

It would tell them who the vehicle is registered too, then on their computers or via radio they could pull up all the information and work out whether there is means to investigate further(pull them over). For the majority of people there would only be a few people or less who drive their car so the chances of catching unlicensed drivers, people with warrants on them etc would be pretty good.

Technology is a wonderful thing.

Of course, even once they have your information they’ll follow you for 10 minutes before deciding to pull you over.

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