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Unusual cameras spotted, what are they?

 
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Searcher22
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:41 am    Post subject: Unusual cameras spotted, what are they? Reply with quote

Hi All

A while ago a set of cameras appeared over each lane including the service area lanes on the Clacket Lane service area bridge. They look nothing like any other safety camera I have seen elsewhere though have a passing resemblance to the PIPS average speed camera but 'set' over each lane and consist of the camera and one small box (not tow) that makes me think of an IR illuminator.

Also, just today on a run up to the NEC I saw the same(ish) looking camera again on a cross bridge to the south of the Warwick services.

There are no road markings for speed measurement at either location.

Could they be numberplate recognition systems to detect stolen and uninsured/untaxed vehicles?

Anyone got an insight in these ones?

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mikealder
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They sound like ANPR - one of the site members (Andyuk99) sent me a picture of the Clacket lane installation, perhaps others can confirm what they are? - Mike



And a little closer:

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Searcher22
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, good pointer to ANPR. A quick Google does seem to ID the Clacket Lane ones as the pipstechnology (pips clearly do not just make average speed camera system such as the ones at the M25 roadworks south of the Dartford Tunnel) ones with integral IR illuminators but from the brief glimpse I had of the ones on the M40 they had a separate box but their single location i.e. no obvious ones elsewhere within a couple of miles of them does not suggest an average speed setup?
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Searcher22
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm!!!! I found some other interesting information here http://www.ha-research.gov.uk/projects/index.php?id=418 where it says this :-

"Journey time data for the M60 has been collected using Automatic Number-Plate Recognition (ANPR) System and the data has been given to HETA and the Greater Manchester Traffic Unit. ANPR cameras are currently being installed on the M6, M5, M40/M42 near Birmingham to collect journey time information."

Now could journey time be interpreted as average speed(s) even though the cameras are many ten's of miles apart?

I recall reading something a while ago about the French toll roads where it was suggested that as the entry ticket was time stamped and the exit payment time was logged the speed could be calculated and (possibly) used to prosecute for speeding infringements.
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GJF
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found thisHERE which are downloads on data sheets from Pips Technology, some of the case studies are interesting and also gives camera detail.

I heard that although cameras ID to numberplates was available and used, computers couldn't track all cars across the country as they were not big enough to cope with all the info, so for long distance recognition they only read the centre part of the number plate - do you know if this is true?
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GJF wrote:
I heard that although cameras ID to numberplates was available and used, computers couldn't track all cars across the country as they were not big enough to cope with all the info, so for long distance recognition they only read the centre part of the number plate - do you know if this is true?


It wouldn't take a very big computer to store all the vehicle movements that they record. I don't doubt for a second that they have the capacity to do it and they keep the information for quite some time too.

As for reading only the centre of the numberplate, TrafficMaster used to claim that this is what they did but now I think they have changed their system so they create a crytographic key based on the numberplate. They can then track a vehicle using this key rather than storing the actual number plate.

That's not to say that they couldn't figure out what the number plate was from the key but it helps overcome the privacy concerns about the data they collect.
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iankb
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skippy wrote:
I think [TrafficMaster] have changed their system so they create a crytographic key based on the numberplate. They can then track a vehicle using this key rather than storing the actual number plate.

That's not to say that they couldn't figure out what the number plate was from the key but it helps overcome the privacy concerns about the data they collect.

They probably use a cryptographic one-way hash, such as MD5 or SHA-1, which are virtually-impossible to convert back to the source value. One-Way hashes are often used to validate passwords, since there is no need to store the password itself, and there is no security risk in storing the hash.
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