This anti-speeding application is controversial, its creators are threatened by furious motorists
Speedcam Anywhere is an application that allows you to estimate the speed of a car using an AI. Thought as a tool to promote road safety, users see it on the contrary as a denunciation app.
While the RATP is currently working on an alert system for pedestrians who look at their smartphone when crossing the road, a team of British developers is currently working on a brand new application. baptized Speedcam Anywhereit allows in particular toestimate the speed of a car using an AI.
This app is the result of a collaboration between AI specialists from Silicon Valley and researchers from several leading British universities. With this app, the developers hope it will encourage law enforcement to step up the fight against speeding and allow residents, pedestrians and cyclists to document/list speeding violations near their home.
Motorists see the app as a denunciation tool
But since its launch in March 2022 in Great Britain, the team is the target of a massive outcry from motorists, so much so that the developers have chosen to remain anonymous for the sake of safety. “We receive quite abusive e-mails. It’s a Marmite product – some think it’s a good idea, others think it’s turning us into a surveillance state,” explains Sam, founder of the application, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“I can see both sides of the coin, but I think if you have speed limits, then the law requires you to obey them, and you have to enforce the law. This is not a personal vendetta against anyone, but simply knowing how to make our roads safe. There are 20,000 serious injuries on the roads every year – how can we reduce them? And the way to reduce them is to deter speeding,” he assures.
In other words, the developers of Speedcam Anywhere see their app as a road safety tool. This is not at all the case for motorists, who rather consider it as a denunciation tool. “In East Germany, citizens were encouraged to report their neighbors to the Stasi for the slightest societal offence. Congratulations on creating a modern version of this practice.” writes a user on an online forum.
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Google and Apple oppose Speedcam Anywhere release
To the chagrin of the developers, they encounter all the difficulties in the world to deploy the app on official stores. Google refused its distribution on the Play Storeclaiming that it was not possible to estimate the speed of a passing vehicle using only AI.
An iOS version has also been developed, but Apple has not yet approved its distribution, for no reason according to the developers. “We don’t understand why they are blocking useful technology that could save lives.” believes Sam. For him, he hopes that the widespread use of Speedcam Anywhere will alert the police to areas where speeding is rampant. But for now, developers will have to find a way to scale up their app. And it’s not won.
Source: The Guardian