New speed cameras 'pose a threat to everyone's privacy' with 'intrusive' 4D technology

Speed cameras

The new cameras have been described as an 'invasion of privacy' (stock image)

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 18/11/2023

- 11:11

Updated: 20/11/2023

- 14:54

'People should be free to go about their lives without being analysed by faceless AI systems'

Around two-thirds of British drivers are unaware of new artificial intelligence cameras which can scan inside vehicles amid expert warnings about privacy.

The new cameras, which have a 4D radar to see inside cars, are being trialled across London’s transport network.

Given that the cameras can see inside the vehicle, authorities will be able to see if drivers are speeding, using their mobile phones and even see if seat belts are fastened.

According to a new study, 60 per cent of Britons are completely unaware that these cameras exist and are being trialled on roads in London.

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More than two-thirds of millennial drivers between the ages of 25 and 34 were the most likely to describe the cameras as an invasion of privacy.

This has also prompted more than a quarter of drivers to suggest that they will completely avoid roads with AI and other speed cameras.

The solar-powered cameras, which have been dubbed “spy machines” and “Big Brother’s cash machine”, can be linked to police databases, according to The Sun.

It can also reportedly monitor six lanes of traffic throughout the day and combine with other units to check average speeds.

Ian Hajyzamanali, head of marketing at Big Motoring World said: “The introduction of these AI cameras has divided opinion and pulled privacy and safety into a head-on debate.

“With well over half of Brits being unaware of these cameras and their capabilities, it seems there is some distrust towards the new technology and a sense it’s a recoil of our right to privacy or a money-gaining tool.

“Our survey has shown that there will need to be a clear communication plan for when these cameras are rolled out more extensively, so drivers are aware cameras will be scanning inside their vehicle”.

New research found that 50 per cent of people thought that the 4D AI cameras were an invasion of privacy and are not justified, compared to 49 per cent who believe the cameras are justified for use.

The creators of the cameras, Redspeed International, are looking to pioneer the next generation of road safety measures through “applied camera technology”.

One of the Sentio speed cameras has been installed on the A23 in Lambeth, South London.

Jake Hurfurt, a campaigner at Big Brother Watch, has frequently spoken out about people’s right to privacy with these and other road cameras.

He said: “This kind of intrusive and creepy surveillance which treats every passer-by as a potential suspect is poses a threat to everyone’s privacy.

“People should be free to go about their lives without being analysed by faceless AI systems.”

RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said some drivers would be wary of the new cameras for “unwanted snooping”, but it would help the police catch drivers breaking the law.


Speed cameras

More than two million speeding fines were handed out between 2021-2022


The expert added: “Having said that, given the increasing sophistication of cameras and the potential for AI to play a role in the future, it’s absolutely vital these cameras are set up correctly and there’s an easy means of drivers challenging penalties and fines which they think are unwarranted.”

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