Picture perfect

crash reconstruction

RECONSTRUCTION of road accident scenes has never been an easy job - but change is on the way that could offer a new solution.

Roke Manor Research (Roke) has just demonstrated the world's first viable 3D ‘black box' technology for vehicles, using just a single dashboard camera.

Fitted to an autonomous Toyota Prius, the device demonstrated how data captured via vision processing technology could be used to provide a precise 3D reconstruction following a road incident.

It is now set to offer insurers, drivers and, in the case of autonomous vehicles, manufacturers independent evidence of what happened. This will not just lead to safer vehicles but also help to build public trust in driverless vehicles.

Early iterations of this technology were first developed by Roke for soldiers in research undertaken for the British government's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Over the past year, Roke - which is based in Romsey in Hampshire - has been developing and miniaturising the technology with the help of funding from Innovate UK.

David Cole, managing director of Roke, said: "The funding from Innovate UK is essential in helping Roke remain at the forefront of autonomous and sensing technology. With 60 years of research under our belt, the money invested has the benefit of world-class engineers with experience across the defence, commercial and national security sectors."

Unlike current dashcams, the Roke technology uses computer vision algorithms to enable the precise position and orientation of any vehicle - car, bike, lorry or autonomous vehicle. This allows for near-perfect 3D reconstruction of any accident to be created even if the vehicle loses complete control.

With further investment, Roke says the technology will not just be limited to accident reconstruction but could also prove useful for sports coaching or meet wider needs in the transport industry.

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