Mike Stevens | Oct 24, 2008

Acoustic Research Laboratories, a company based in NSW, has developed a 'noise camera' for picking up vehicles that generate a lot of noise. You don't need to be a brainiac to work out who will be its biggest customer.

The system uses a set of microphones and cameras to monitor and analyse sound activity. It drops background noise and scans whatever is left. The system attempts to identify the type of noise using a 'trigger list' and the volume of the source.

If the undesired sound is too loud, the system then takes a ten second video recording of the scene as evidence. The multiple microphones permit the system to triangulate the source of the sound, determining which vehicle in the footage is generating it.

The next step should be familiar to anyone who's ever had a run-in with the other revenue raisers that are adorning our road networks.

noise-camera-2

Now I'd love to see how the government plans to justify these cameras. It's bad enough watching them lie through their teeth about speed cameras being about 'safety' and not 'revenue raising'... no? What excuse are they going to use when these cameras start lining sections of road in the middle of nowhere?

The company claims that the system can store evidence for 10,000 infringements before the internal hard drive fills, but the system can send enough data back to a base station to generate an infringement notice immediately.

Ain't technology grand?

The first trial of the system is in Mt Ousley, between Sydney and Wollongong. (A word of advice, if you're in the area be careful.) Victoria and South Australia have also declared trials, but at the moment they're configuring the systems to target trucks using compression braking in built-up areas.

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+