Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Buses to Issue Tickets

ENGADGET.COM -- This is a step closer to what I'm predicting. Sadly, I won't be able to get any money off of this deal, but a few years ago, I came up with an idea. I tried to get Lockheed or Microsoft or Google interested, but it never went anywhere. So I eventually sent it to MIT's Digital Cities project and we'll see where it goes from there.

Anyhow, it was a networked city... the vehicles (police cars, buses, city maintenance vehicles, etc.) would have cameras. Either via live transmission or by download when the vehicles returned "home," the video would be analyzed by computers. Things that stood out would be flagged for humans to view. Street lights that were out, newspaper stands that had been knocked over, car that appeared to be abandoned, etc. The reviewers could then dispatch the appropriate agency to investigate, ticket, tow, whatever.

As I see this stuff start to take shape, it sounds like it's starting to come to fruition. In some places, the network will come later, but in many cases, the human element may be left out of the first draft as they go after low hanging fruit - the obvious (and ticketable - revenue!) offenses.

Networked cameras seek out parking violators (UK), Camera-equipped buses could automatically ticket San Franciscans.
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