Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre and machine communications group, Emtele, are developing traffic surveillance equipment capable of measuring the distance between travelling vehicles, plus their speed and height.
The new technology will also be able to assess the condition of brakes in HGVs.
The developers anticipate a future version of the system that is able to measure the weight of a moving vehicle and the friction of the road surface.
The equipment, based on VTT’s machine vision technology and Emtele’s information distribution solutions, is expected to provide Finnish road authorities with direct access to the data captured via a movable roadside unit.
The project is being supported by the Finnish Traffic Police, who are sharing their expertise in road safety and enforcement.
VTT hopes that their participation at an early stage will improve the product’s end user benefits.
The machine allows police staff at a control station to identify traffic violations from the data produced.
In the future, engineers hope to develop the technology so that the information can be sent directly to police vehicles.
VTT is also exploring the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology on electronic number plates, using an RFID reader to determine the identity of vehicles.
The technology is being developed as part of an European Union-funded project called ASSET-ROAD, which is aimed at improving road regulations and making public authorities aware of innovative technologies and their possible applications.
In addition to VTT’s work in Finland, ASSET-ROAD is supporting two further surveillance equipment prototypes in Germany and France.
The project has a total budget of €8.1m (£7m), with the Finland’s share accounting for €1.4m.