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(The Newspaper)   Company patents radarless speed camera based on technology first used in 1901   (thenewspaper.com) divider line 36
    More: Interesting, measuring devices, A/T/S, sidewalks, Trademark Office, observational error, plain  
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4539 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Jul 2012 at 3:23 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-07 03:41:31 PM  
So, using the Mythbusters' method of determining speed.

What I get a kick out of is the fact they've been making speed cameras since 1901. I wonder when the one was destroyed by an irate driver. I'm envisioning Jeeves holding the jacket while Bertie climbs the pole to steal the film.
 
2012-07-07 03:46:57 PM  
Prior art much?
 
2012-07-07 03:50:39 PM  
Great. I'm going to have to get around to installing my remote control license plate cover....
 
2012-07-07 03:52:14 PM  
If you see these lines and know you're speeding, hit the brakes on your car. When you're rear ended, sue the hell out of the city, state, and corporation that uses this technology. It would be easier to do this with lines on a road than to do the same with something like a typical speed camera, because you don't NECESSARILY know where the camera is aiming.

As an aside: if this company knew what it was doing, it'd force changes to state law that would allow more leniency for issuing tickets for following too closely... it would then adjust the distance between stripes in the road so that would correspond to that approximate distance one car should give another while traveling at the posted speed limit (example: staying two or more seconds behind another car [advised in my state's driver's manual IIRC] traveling at 60 MPH would be a distance of 176 feet), put up two more cameras that shoot from the side and from behind the vehicles, and issue tickets like there is no tomorrow
Now, clearly a few red flags should pop up with this idea when taken by itself (ie: in many areas, cars regularly travel 10-20 MPH over the speed limit OR congestion results in cars that travel well under the speed limit), but hey that's never stopped cities from issuing blanket tickets and making it all but impossible to fight the charges. Clearly, in order for this to work, one would need to adjust every event based on the relative speed at which the vehicles were traveling, but it could actually be done very easily and tickets could be issued virtually instantaneously with proper calibration.

So, when someone sells this idea and makes a lot of money off of it, please send me a check for one million dollars.
 
2012-07-07 03:54:03 PM  
And if they set up a series of closer-spaced lines (similar to what the Oregon DOT had along Highway 34 east of Corvallis, where they had paint/adhesive striping wear and weathering tests taking place on a well-traveled highway), they could adjust even more easily (or create more corroborating evidence) that one was speeding or following another vehicle too closely.
 
2012-07-07 04:07:44 PM  

wildcardjack: So, using the Mythbusters' method of determining speed.


Mythbusters? Are you f*cking kidding me?

Listen, though this method of determining speed has not necessarily been used in such a fashion with speed cameras, similar methods have been used in private engineering testing for decades. Incidentally, there are actually some places on the United States Interstate Highway System with a "speedometer check section," where miles are measured accurately and on larger, independent mile marker signs. It's essentially the same principle.

Sorry, but I hate how people pull Mythbusters out of the woodwork almost as if they've invented science.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-07 04:08:28 PM  
puffy999

Companies are already selling laser based systems that issue tickets when two cars are too close together on the highway. Reports suggest the enforcement threshold is 2 seconds, or 200 feet at highway speed. I have not seen one of these tickets to confirm.
 
2012-07-07 04:11:20 PM  
 
2012-07-07 04:14:02 PM  
So they are going to paint the road? Can't I just paint over their lines and kill their system?
 
2012-07-07 04:14:05 PM  
Also, Subby, just because a technology was first used decades ago doesn't mean there aren't any improvements. Toyota got a patent on their Prius hybrid transmission, even though cars have been around since 1901 too.
 
2012-07-07 04:14:38 PM  
I wonder if we can get Intellectual Ventures to sue them over it.
 
2012-07-07 04:20:06 PM  

wildcardjack: So, using the Mythbusters' method of determining speed.

What I get a kick out of is the fact they've been making speed cameras since 1901. I wonder when the one was destroyed by an irate driver. I'm envisioning Jeeves holding the jacket while Bertie climbs the pole to steal the film.


emsworth.files.wordpress.com

What the devil is up on that pole?
 
2012-07-07 04:54:49 PM  
And this is why the patent system is broken.
 
2012-07-07 05:04:22 PM  
 
2012-07-07 05:06:49 PM  

Theaetetus: Also, Subby, just because a technology was first used decades ago doesn't mean there aren't any improvements. Toyota got a patent on their Prius hybrid transmission, even though cars have been around since 1901 too.


My company developed a similar system four years ago. We came up with a straightforward solution for measuring vehicle speeds using one camera. We used our experience in image processing and put together the algorithms that were sufficient and necessary to make it happen: background image generation, tracking and segmentation, and 2D to 3D mapping with a calibration based on visible landmarks. I checked the link you provided in your previous post and I have to say, what they patented is EXACTLY the same system that we made and sold.

I know it's too late for us to claim a patent for it. OTOH, we were using the data to generate an average speed for all the passing vehicles, not for ticketing individual ones. What do you think, is this an improvement that could earn us a patent?

/me thinks no, but neither should they get their patent
 
2012-07-07 05:13:37 PM  
I am glad my state knows better than to do this. The cameras would end up being expensive skeet.
 
2012-07-07 05:34:21 PM  

traylor: I know it's too late for us to claim a patent for it. OTOH, we were using the data to generate an average speed for all the passing vehicles, not for ticketing individual ones. What do you think, is this an improvement that could earn us a patent?


If you were selling it 4 years ago, then no - it's public domain already. You've got a 1 year time limit to file in the US after public use.

/you could still make further patentable improvements, tho
//you could also contact this company's competitors with your functional specifications, since they might want to buy copies of them in advance of any lawsuits...
///none of this is legal advice, I ain't your lawyer
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-07 05:34:34 PM  
traylor

Under new patent rules adopted about a year ago the first to file for a patent wins no matter who invented the device first. But we don't literally have dueling patent applications and the rule may not be retroactive.

There was a rule saying US patent applications had to be filed within a year of the invention being offered for sale. International patent applications had to be filed before first sale. That's what they told us when trying to turn our routine work into tech patent portfolio ammunition. You have an invention sold c. 2008 competing with an application filed c. 2008. The timing is close enough that you may be able to invalidate their patent or they may be able to stop your product from being sold.
 
2012-07-07 05:37:28 PM  

ZAZ: Under new patent rules adopted about a year ago the first to file for a patent wins no matter who invented the device first. But we don't literally have dueling patent applications and the rule may not be retroactive.


Pro-tip: When giving incorrect legal advice, be sure to state "IANAL" so that no one accidentally relies on it.
 
2012-07-07 05:41:13 PM  
I'm sorry, that was overly snarky.

First to file vs. first to invent doesn't matter except in the very rare case where there are two applications on the same invention - about 20 per year, currently, out of over 10,000 applications. It doesn't affect whether something is prior art and doesn't matter in his case.

And it's not that international application have to be filed before the first sale, but that many jurisdictions don't give the same grace period as the US, so it's a good rule generally. Europe is 0 days, for example, while Canada gives 6 months. But if you restrict yourself to 1-year grace period countries, there's nothing that makes the international application invalid.

And finally, you're right about the application date... They may well have predated traylor's company, and may even be able to swear back farther if they were working on developing the product for a while before applying for the patent.
 
2012-07-07 06:22:15 PM  

puffy999: wildcardjack: So, using the Mythbusters' method of determining speed.

Mythbusters? Are you f*cking kidding me?

Listen, though this method of determining speed has not necessarily been used in such a fashion with speed cameras, similar methods have been used in private engineering testing for decades. Incidentally, there are actually some places on the United States Interstate Highway System with a "speedometer check section," where miles are measured accurately and on larger, independent mile marker signs. It's essentially the same principle.

Sorry, but I hate how people pull Mythbusters out of the woodwork almost as if they've invented science.


They repopularized the scientific method. For the primary and secondary audiences, Mythbusters is probably the single, sole, only, solitary, exposure these people have ever or will ever have to 99% of engineering, testing, or scientific method.

So they use a frame of refference they know and that everyone else does. At least MB uses science (and has, you know, real engineers on staff for things), so it's not like he pulled out a quasi magic show like CSI.
 
2012-07-07 06:33:37 PM  
Thank you for the legal heads-up.

I was rather amused by the fact that they got a patent for a combination of algorithms that are well known and widely used in the field. It is not an extreme coincidence that our system works the same way as theirs, because it is the obvious solution for the problem. I don't see the innovation here. I am also pretty sure that I could find research papers dated before 2008 discussing a very similar or exactly the same solution for the very same problem - although I am not sure if it changes anything in this stupid patent system.
 
2012-07-07 06:37:32 PM  
What an ATS may look like:

farm4.staticflickr.com
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-07 06:51:34 PM  
I am also pretty sure that I could find research papers dated before 2008 discussing a very similar or exactly the same solution for the very same problem

Visual motion tracking algorithms were taught in undergraduate CS prior to 2008.
 
2012-07-07 07:03:02 PM  
Meh. Look at this bullshiat http://www.technobuffalo.com/companies/apple/apple-granted-water-damag e-indicator-patent/
"Apple was granted a patent that relates to the detection of water damage on an electronic device. The invention is a strategically placed color-changing strip, which turns red when wet."
I swear this been in phones since 2000
 
2012-07-07 07:19:25 PM  

drjekel_mrhyde: Meh. Look at this bullshiat http://www.technobuffalo.com/companies/apple/apple-granted-water-damag e-indicator-patent/
"Apple was granted a patent that relates to the detection of water damage on an electronic device. The invention is a strategically placed color-changing strip, which turns red when wet."
I swear this been in phones since 2000


It's a bit narrower than that... The patent isn't on the color changing strip, but on placement of it within a connector housing (primarily the audio jack). It's actually kind of a slick idea, since it doesn't look like a piece of tape on the outside all the time.
 
2012-07-07 10:17:35 PM  
Interesting how every single thread that involves driving or cars in any way always fills up with testosterone-soaked man-children who will make absolutely any argument against driving like a grown-up, and rage like screaming toddlers against any effort by civilised people to make them do it. Clearly, these morans are the healthy majority of people behind the wheel.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying: People aren't going to grow up. They're not going to get better. And because of that, people will continue to die by the tens of thousands every year. (Currently holding steady at around forty thousand roadway deaths per year in the U.S.) The only workable solution left is to get them out from behind the wheel, any way it can be done. There are a number of options for this, and I support every single one of them, anything that will get drivers off the road for good. A century of motoring has proven that we just can do it safely, and never will.
 
2012-07-07 10:31:47 PM  

puffy999: As an aside: if this company knew what it was doing, it'd force changes to state law that would allow more leniency for issuing tickets for following too closely... it would then adjust the distance between stripes in the road so that would correspond to that approximate distance one car should give another while traveling at the posted speed limit (example: staying two or more seconds behind another car [advised in my state's driver's manual IIRC] traveling at 60 MPH would be a distance of 176 feet), put up two more cameras that shoot from the side and from behind the vehicles, and issue tickets like there is no tomorrow


There is already some sort of technology used i some places to determine following too closely - I'm not sure of the details, but I read about it in the local news over 5 years ago.

As far as the 2 second rule goes, it's basically ridiculous. It assumes the car in front of you can come to an instant dead stop. It can't.

I recently took a "driver's safety course" to get out of a speeding ticket and they recommended 3 seconds at normal city speed and suggested you up that to 4-5 seconds on the highway especially when following a large truck. That may not be unreasonable if traffic is light, but most of the time traffic is not light. In fact, I'm not sure it would even be possible to get 5 seconds behind a vehicle on the interstate near my home. I'd basically have to pull over and wait until about 3 AM to proceed.

I guarantee you my car can stop a hell of a lot quicker than a semi.

Go look at traffic in any city during the day. Driver's do not follow the 2 second rule and yet there is not carnage everywhere. Usually people see the car in front of them brake and they slow down as well and stop when necessary. It may take 2-3 seconds to stop, but the vehicle in front of them just doesn't come to a dead halt as it might in a video game.

A few years ago I was traveling about 45 MPH (in a 40 zone - yeah, I was speeding) in the right lane of a 4-lane street. I was probably about a half second behind the car in the lane to the left of me who was also probably going about 45. All of a sudden, this biatch in her SUV swerved in front of me and jammed on her brakes hard and came to a dead stop in my lane. It took us both a couple of seconds to stop and all I could think during those seconds was "Oh shiat, I'm gonna crash". I was about a foot from her rear bumper and was just breathing a huge sigh of relief when I stopped.

My foot reacted quicker than my hand, but when I stopped my foot was jammed hard on the brake and my hand was on the horn.

It took me at least as much time to collect myself and just as I was about to get out of my car and confront her, she proceeded as if nothing had happened. I REALLY wish there had been a cop in the vicinity that had seen that. That woman has no business behind the wheel and she is a danger to us all. If I had been just a few feet further up the road she would have just swerved into me.

/Reaction time is a factor in this, so please pay attention. Now, answer BRAKE as quickly as you can.
//Now all you people who think you can text and drive put yourself in that situation - it doesn't happen often, but it happens without any warning when it does happen.
 
2012-07-07 10:46:26 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Interesting how every single thread that involves driving or cars in any way always fills up with testosterone-soaked man-children who will make absolutely any argument against driving like a grown-up, and rage like screaming toddlers against any effort by civilised people to make them do it. Clearly, these morans are the healthy majority of people behind the wheel.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying: People aren't going to grow up. They're not going to get better. And because of that, people will continue to die by the tens of thousands every year. (Currently holding steady at around forty thousand roadway deaths per year in the U.S.) The only workable solution left is to get them out from behind the wheel, any way it can be done. There are a number of options for this, and I support every single one of them, anything that will get drivers off the road for good. A century of motoring has proven that we just can do it safely, and never will.


How about this - Let's require more stringent driver's tests and focus more on dangerous driving than simply speeding or having a BAC over 0,05 (the limit in my state). Going a few miles over the speed limit isn't going to hurt anyone. Blowing a red light will kill people. Changing lanes without looking kills people. Using your oversized SUV as a method of intimidation kills people. Driving too fast for conditions kills people (like when roads are wet or just completely icy).

And I'll also say this - driving with a 0.08 BAC doesn't kill anyone either. Pay attention to the road you're on. Stop at stop lights and stop signs. Don't change lanes erratically. Be aware of other drivers and pedestrians around you and everything will be just fine.
 
2012-07-08 12:01:34 AM  
Around here they spend lots of money trying to add more speed cameras and control people more. The result is that it ended up killing a fair number of people. Our road deaths per distance traveled is going up and the deaths per hour in a car has risen quite a bit. They love to say how safe the roads are compared to places in Europe but forgot they had to deal with snow on the roads of the countries they like to point out have a higher death rate. They have been running ads to get people to slow down even more and that has resulted in the gray haired drivers driving at 20% or slower than the speed limits and has resulted in a massive increase in density related accidents. To make the sats look better, they now are removing nearly half the accident stats and writing them off as natural causes so a heart attack causing a wreck 10 years ago was counted but one this week won't be.
 
2012-07-08 01:22:04 AM  

Theaetetus: ZAZ: Under new patent rules adopted about a year ago the first to file for a patent wins no matter who invented the device first. But we don't literally have dueling patent applications and the rule may not be retroactive.

Pro-tip: When giving incorrect legal advice, be sure to state "IANAL" so that no one accidentally relies on it.


because a judge is really going to be like "Girion47, are you a lawyer?" Me: "no, I post on a site known for sarcasm and trolling called Fark" Judge: "well this guy took what you said as legal advice, what say you?" Me: "I posted on an internet site known for sarcasm and trolling" Judge: "I see your point, other dude? You're a dumbass, case dismissed"
 
2012-07-08 02:16:49 AM  

kroonermanblack: puffy999: wildcardjack: So, using the Mythbusters' method of determining speed.

Mythbusters? Are you f*cking kidding me?

Listen, though this method of determining speed has not necessarily been used in such a fashion with speed cameras, similar methods have been used in private engineering testing for decades. Incidentally, there are actually some places on the United States Interstate Highway System with a "speedometer check section," where miles are measured accurately and on larger, independent mile marker signs. It's essentially the same principle.

Sorry, but I hate how people pull Mythbusters out of the woodwork almost as if they've invented science.

They repopularized the scientific method. For the primary and secondary audiences, Mythbusters is probably the single, sole, only, solitary, exposure these people have ever or will ever have to 99% of engineering, testing, or scientific method.

So they use a frame of refference they know and that everyone else does. At least MB uses science (and has, you know, real engineers on staff for things), so it's not like he pulled out a quasi magic show like CSI.


They don't use the scientific method. They spend an afternoon in their workshop trying to see if they can reproduce the results of an urban legend. If they can't, they declare it impossible then go blow stuff up.
 
2012-07-08 10:46:48 AM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Interesting how every single thread that involves driving or cars in any way always fills up with testosterone-soaked man-children who will make absolutely any argument against driving like a grown-up, and rage like screaming toddlers against any effort by civilised people to make them do it. Clearly, these morans are the healthy majority of people behind the wheel.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying: People aren't going to grow up. They're not going to get better. And because of that, people will continue to die by the tens of thousands every year. (Currently holding steady at around forty thousand roadway deaths per year in the U.S.) The only workable solution left is to get them out from behind the wheel, any way it can be done. There are a number of options for this, and I support every single one of them, anything that will get drivers off the road for good. A century of motoring has proven that we just can do it safely, and never will.


No. We object to most traffic enforcement because it's based on cases where the rules don't match common sense. If the system is honest automated enforcement does not produce anything like the revenue to pay for itself.

Happy Hours: As far as the 2 second rule goes, it's basically ridiculous. It assumes the car in front of you can come to an instant dead stop. It can't.


No. It takes 4 seconds of distance to come to a complete stop. If the car 2 seconds ahead of you comes to an instant stop (say, it's head-oned by a oncoming car, or a giant boulder suddenly drops in it's path) you're going to hit it.

2 seconds is to allow your reaction time--from when the threat happens to when your foot has slammed the brake.

Go look at traffic in any city during the day. Driver's do not follow the 2 second rule and yet there is not carnage everywhere. Usually people see the car in front of them brake and they slow down as well and stop when necessary. It may take 2-3 seconds to stop, but the vehicle in front of them just doesn't come to a dead halt as it might in a video game.

It normally works because traffic normally flows. Also, the 2 seconds is conservative--a young driver with good reactions will do it in something less than 2 seconds. When things go badly wrong you get chain reaction accidents, though.

Happy Hours: How about this - Let's require more stringent driver's tests and focus more on dangerous driving than simply speeding or having a BAC over 0,05 (the limit in my state). Going a few miles over the speed limit isn't going to hurt anyone. Blowing a red light will kill people. Changing lanes without looking kills people. Using your oversized SUV as a method of intimidation kills people. Driving too fast for conditions kills people (like when roads are wet or just completely icy).


I agree on the speed. Speed is one of the common symptoms of the real threat: aggressive driving. It's not the cause itself, though.

And I'll also say this - driving with a 0.08 BAC doesn't kill anyone either. Pay attention to the road you're on. Stop at stop lights and stop signs. Don't change lanes erratically. Be aware of other drivers and pedestrians around you and everything will be just fine.

Here you're very wrong. If you do these things and traffic goes normally you'll be ok. Even at that level, though, you're judgment is garbage. If something goes wrong you won't react nearly as well as you should. You'll turn a scary moment into a crash.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-08 11:51:16 AM  
To make the sats look better, they now are removing nearly half the accident stats and writing them off as natural causes so a heart attack causing a wreck 10 years ago was counted but one this week won't be.

The British government got caught falsifying road injuries when researchers compared hospital admissions to police reports. Speed cameras caused one third of injuries to be omitted from official road safety statistics. (Source: British Medical Journal c. 2006.)
 
2012-07-08 12:43:46 PM  

Loren: No. We object to most traffic enforcement because it's based on cases where the rules don't match common sense. If the system is honest automated enforcement does not produce anything like the revenue to pay for itself.


I don't personally believe that most automated enforcement is legal at all. There's too much that's too subjective about it.
 
2012-07-09 03:56:25 PM  
ATS is a bunch of shiatbags. No news here.
 
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