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New 3D Blackbox could provide precise accident reconstruction

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Roke Manor Research has demonstrated the world’s first 3D ‘Blackbox’ technology for vehicles.

It’s set to offer insurers, drivers and manufacturers of autonomous vehicles independent evidence of what happened before a collision. This could lead to safer vehicles and also help to build public trust in driverless vehicles.

Using just a single dashboard camera, the device demonstrated how data captured via vision processing technology could be used to provide a precise 3D reconstruction following a road incident. 

Early iterations of this technology were first developed by Roke for soldiers in research undertaken for the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Over the past year, Roke 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.” 

Roland Meister, head of transport for Innovate UK, said: “The Industry led feasibility studies such as Roke’s ‘black box’ solution are great examples of UK capability in this area and we expect to support many more projects over the coming years.”

Dr James Revell (pictured), consultant engineer at Roke, added: “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.”

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