discussion / Camera Traps  / 15 December 2019

Average speed system needed

Dear group,

I am still on the trail of system that will help us to slow traffic down. We have incidentally started monitoring speed with a plastic bag marker  and stopwatch over distances of 700 metres and have results highlighting the extent of the problem. Some vehicles are doing twice teh speed limit of 80, and whilst we still need an instantaneous speed camera, there is now greater need for someone to help us with basic system so that we can reliably determine average speed over a distance of 70 km.  Reliable is key as we are getting closer to having law enforcement agencies assist.  

So what do we now need? We  envisage a camera that will read the number plate, Record the time, take a picture, and transmit these data via a cell network to enforcement of the other end who will have a similar system to match the plate number and have the average speed calculated.

Any ideas welcome. 


I love this user requirement! Is this for a conservation need?

The Instant Detect 2.0 system, when launched later next year, could definitely do part of this job.

If you placed the Instant Detect camera with a metal detecting sensor buried in, or alongside, the road it would reliably trigger and capture a burst of images everytime it detected a vehicle passing by. I have tested the capture up to 60Kmph. the images would then be sent by radio to a Base Station and then over satellite to a cloud based interface.

You would need to have two systems (two base stations) as the radio wouldn't reach 70 Km, placed at either end. Both systems would then feed their images to the same cloud based interface.

The bit that would need extra development would be having a VRN plate recognition algorithm check the images on the interface to match number plates taken by the two cameras and then check the capture time (recorded in the image). But thinking about it, I don't think this would be that hard.  

The cameras and base station could be run off solar if you can protect them well enough, so power is unliklely to be an issue. The only thing I can think that might be needed is some process for law enforcement to prove that the times recorded by the cameras are set correctly and identically - the time used is pulled down by satellite from the server so this should always be the same.

Where are you based? 

Hi Gregory,

That is quite shocking to hear that a road could be so detrimental to wildlife. If you were able to place a speed hump or rumble strip where you place the camera you could even embed the metal detecting sensor in them to ensure accurate detection of every vehicle when they are going slower.

Our camera takes a burst of images and this can be set to be quite a quick burst or a slower burst so with a little bit of testing I am sure we could get the numberplates.

I am assuming that a lot of time these collisions happen at night. Would there be a way to have a fixed light at the camera locations as otherwise the cameras can be blinded by headlights and taillights making reading the VRN difficult.

At the moment our system is satellite connected. This does have a relatively high monthly data cost. We are also planning to develop a cellular version but this will require more funding and development time that we have not got yet.

The system is in the final stages of development and we plan to launch it in mid-2020 once it has undergone some prolonged field trials at ZSL sites, so it is not currently available. Final costings are still under review and will be released early next year.

I am sorry that we are not able to provide this capability to you right now. 

Have you found any commercially available camera systems? In the UK I believe the automatic number plate recognition cameras placed on gantrys over motorways are called SPECS and a quick google said they are sold by a company called Jenoptik. If you find out how much they are and how they work, perhaps you could update this thread?