A UK electronics engineering consultancy has demonstrated what it claims to be the world’s first viable 3D ‘black box’ that can reconstruct road crashes in fine detail.
Initially developed for the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, for soldiers to record hostile environments, the vPinPoint technology has made its civilian debut in an automated Toyota Prius.
Dr James Revell holding the vPinPoint
The system applies computer vision algorithms to dashboard camera output to record the exact location and orientation of all the vehicle that are involved in an accident - cars, buses, bikes, powered two-wheelers, lorries and, in future, autonomous vehicles.
The result is then available for detailed analysis of the causes of, and contributory factors to, road traffic accidents.
The system has been developed by Roke Manor Research.
Roke consultant engineer Dr James Revell said: 'It’s set to give insurers, drivers and, in the case of autonomous vehicles, manufacturers independent evidence of what happened. This will not just lead to safer vehicles overall, but also help to build up public trust in driverless vehicles. It allows for near-perfect 3D reconstruction of any accident even if the driver loses full control.’
The company has developed the civilian application over the last 12 months with funding from Government-backed agency Innovate UK.
It foresees, with the aid of additional investment, further opportunities in the transport sector. These could include the proposed movement of driverless vehicles travelling in electronically linked platoon formation behind a driven leader.