Roke demonstrates “first viable 3D ‘black box’ technology for vehicles”

Roke Manor Research today demonstrated what it claims is the first viable 3D ‘black box’ technology for vehicles.

Installed on an autonomous Toyota Prius, Roke demonstrated how data captured via a single dashboard camera could be used to provide a precise 3D reconstruction following a road incident.

Dubbed vPinPoint, the technology is set to offer insurers, drivers and, in the case of autonomous vehicles, manufacturers independent evidence of what happened in the event of an accident. The technology also has the potential to lead to safer vehicles and help build public trust in driverless vehicles.

Early iterations of this technology were first developed by Roke for soldiers in research undertaken for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Over the past year, Roke has been developing and miniaturising the technology with funding from Innovate UK.

Dr James Revell, consultant engineer at Roke said: “Unlike current dashcams, the technology we tested today 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 believes the technology could be used by for sports coaching or to meet wider needs in the transport industry.

In a separate development, used car specialists HPL Motors has found that a quarter of Britons would sell their vehicle in favour of signing up for a driverless car subscription.

18 to 24-year-olds are the most receptive to the idea, with 34 per cent of this age group stating that they would join a driverless car membership scheme. 35 to 44-year-olds are the least likely to embrace autonomous vehicles, with only 18 per cent agreeing that they would part with their own car.