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

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5
MG 7 - side
News

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5

The new MG7 saloon has been teased ahead of its August reveal
8 Aug 2022
UK petrol and diesel prices: unleaded to fall below 175p
High fuel prices. £2 per litre
News

UK petrol and diesel prices: unleaded to fall below 175p

Average price of petrol expected to fall below 175p per litre for the first time since early June
12 Aug 2022
New Kia XCeed facelift gets £22,995 price tag
Kia XCeed - front
News

New Kia XCeed facelift gets £22,995 price tag

Tech, design and interior updates make up a series of subtle but important enhancements for Kia’s big-selling family crossover
11 Aug 2022