New controversial app turns smartphones into speed cameras

Developers of a new controversial app called Speedcam Anywhere have hidden their identities following alleged abusive emails

Vehicle speeding into bend

A  new smartphone app, which allows users to record passing cars with their camera and determine whether they’re breaking the speed limit, is generating controversy after only weeks on the market.

The app, named Speedcam Anywhere, can be used by pedestrians to take a video of a passing car suspected of speeding. The software will read the car’s number plate and use DVLA data to identify its make and model, then determine the length between its front and rear axles. It then compares this information to the footage to calculate whether the car was speeding or not.

The footage can then be saved by the user and a report can be generated. The idea is that this report can be shared with the relevant authorities. The app cannot be used to penalise drivers in the UK, as the Home Office has not approved it as a certified speed detection device. The app is also being prepared for launch in the US.

Speedcam Anywhere was developed by a team of artificial intelligence scientists, with backgrounds from UK universities and in Silicon Valley. However, their actual identities are being kept secret, as they claim to have received abusive emails from members of the public who disagree with the purpose of the app.

One of the app’s founders, speaking anonymously to the Guardian, said: “We’re getting quite abusive emails. It’s a Marmite product - some people think it’s a good idea, some people think that it turns us into a surveillance state.”

He added: “There are 20,000 serious injuries on the roads every year – how can we reduce them? And the way we reduce them is we make a deterrent to speeding.”

Google initially didn’t allow the app to be published on its Play Store, but has since approved the app, where it is available for download in the UK for Android devices. Apple has yet to approve it for distribution on its App Store for iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads.

What are your thoughts on reporting speeding drivers yourself? Let us know in the comments...

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New Kia Niro EV prototype review
Kia Niro EV  prototype - front
Kia Niro

New Kia Niro EV prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a pre-production prototype version of the 201bhp Kia Niro EV
22 May 2022