ANPR Cams - Britain's Roadside Big Brother
ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras are being used to create a "24x7 national vehicle movement database" that will log the movement of every vehicle on the United Kingdom's roads. Your every move will be retained in the system for two years.
(ANPR mobile unit)
According to an article in The Register, the system will go live in April of next year and will process 50 million number plates per day by year's end. ANPR camera systems are to be placed every 400 yards along motorways.
Besides "denying criminals the use of the roads", the system will also link to other databases to identify vehicles that are unregistered and untaxed. The system will be used in the war on terror; UK police have lobbied for detention periods of up to 90 days without charges for terror suspects. Once police have a tip or a suspect in custody, they can sift records of vehicle movement along with everything else.
This technology was predicted sixty years ago by Robert Heinlein in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children. The novel takes place in a near-future Earth society that is very closely regulated. The individual's right to privacy typically means little compared to the right of society to take what it needs from citizens. For example, the movement of every vehicle on the road is monitored by roadside cameras, just like it will be in Britain. Some individuals, however, use other technology to maintain their privacy.
...The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...
She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her... She signaled the traffic control ahead; it cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car, then rang the alarm which notified her to resume local control. Before doing so she fumbled in the storage compartment on the instrument board and fumbled, apparently purposelessly.
But the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway was not the number in which the car was registered.
(Read more about Robert Heinlein's traffic control camera)
Take a look at IP Cameras - Larry Niven's Webeye? for another science-fictional surveillance technology that seems to have arrived. Or, read more about the vehicle movement database and the
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/16/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Swiss HCPVT Giant Photovoltaic 'Flower'
'...leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector.'- David Brin, 1990.
Peel And Stick Thin Film Solar Cells
'It turns sunlight into electricity, just like any solar power converter, but you spray it on.'- Larry Niven, 1995.
Microbattery Extreme High Performance
'To this Foyle affixed a power pack the size of a pea and switched it on.'- Alfred Bester, 1956.
Speeding Ticket Robots To Cite Autonomous Cars?
'There is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that allowed in the section in which it happens to be...'- John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
German Firm Seeks To Recruit Autistics
Not a deficit, but a strength.
NASA Supports Pizza Printer
Is it extra with printed pepperoni?
Could Ground-Based Lasers De-Orbit Space Junk?
'Then their lasers vaporized the smaller satellites...'
'Hello, Computer!' Google Now Highlighted at IO13
MIT Robot Cheetah Video Shows Gait Transition
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'
TrackingPoint Smart Rifle
Not your typical 'smart bullet' approach.
Sky City's 220 Stories Are Go
'It rested among green parklands and... stood in total isolation, a glittering block of whites and flashing windows dotted with colors.'
CARMAT Bioprosthetic Total Human Heart Replacement
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Personal Sniffer Robots
'...The ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound.'
Physical Exam? We've Got Apps
See the future of handheld, personal medical devices.
The Interplanetary Internet, Vint Cerf Speaking
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Drosophila Robotica, The Mechanical Fly
'... the Scarab [flying robot] buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might...'
Robo-Raven Flapping Wing Robot Bird
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Japan's Nursing Home Robot Plan
Let's make the Roujin Z-0001 Robotic Bed!
Samsung Smart TVs With Gesture Control
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Swiss HCPVT Giant Photovoltaic 'Flower'
'...leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories