In-vehicle video surveillance design project...

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AWRamsay
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In-vehicle video surveillance design project...

Post by AWRamsay » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:15 am

Hello All,

I am a recent (8 months) subscriber to NV; great magazine!

I'd like to talk to someone who would be able and interested in designing and prototyping a video surveillance device with some rather special features. I'm a marketer, not an engineer or electronics expert. The device is to be used in an automobile to monitor driver behavior.

If you have interest in discussing a project of this kind, and how it could be commercialized, I'd like to hear from you. Feel free to contact me directly by email to discuss further.

Thanks.

AllanR

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:22 pm

Your basic needs are a lipstick camera on or in the dash, and either a 12 volt recorder in the trunk or a wireless sending unit to record the video data to a different location.

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jwax
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Post by jwax » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:01 am

Send me some details, and we'll see what can be done Allan!
John

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:20 pm

Too many variables. I think most members prefer discussion right here as opposed to email. Besides, you never left an email to send to.

Is this to monitor the driver or the road, both? Is it informal or would it need to stand up in court? Do you require continuous monitoring or intermittent dependent on conditions? Is Digital or Analog recording format preferred?

They now have portable PVR/DVR recorders. Not much larger than a video Ipod with camera and motion sensing built in all in one package. Some have inputs for external cameras. Check home automation and spy/surveillance vendors on the web to find them. Typically these are used as either nanny cams or video doorbells (records visitors while you are away). Motion sensing is done with camera not PIR in most cases.

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Post by VIRAND » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:12 pm

The spy-on-cars cam .... someone asked me to design it, and I did, for the purpose
of recording nuisance behavior and license plates and sending it to the police.
Example: Every day someone I know sees someone crash while talking
on a cell phone, which is illegal here. Unfortunately only the police can see,
record, and do anything about it. But if you record a shooting I think they will
demand it as evidence of a crime, though I guess a picture of the shooter taken
by a non-cop photog is as good as one drawn by a student in Kindergarten, legally.

For some reason, traffic cams can send you a ticket, but your neighbor's cam cannot.
This is the reason: Photoshop and the "Max Headroom Effect".
It is possible for you to send a movie of yourself to "someone" who is a hacker
and they can change your voice so you're obviously talking conspiracy
with OJ to kill someone who has just died. "Max Headroom" doesn't stutter anymore,
in fact he sings and dances so well you can't tell he doesn't exist. He has brothers
that look like and always impersonate political figures.

You can't believe the news. The picture on the screen isn't what the camera recorded.
I may be nuts but I'm also the inventor of human voice text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis.
And as soon as it was invented, it was used by others IMMEDIATELY
to make people's voices say obscene things that the people would never say!
I didn't invent photoshop, but it's obvious use is making false photographs.

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:05 pm

First, you must get the cops to put down their donuts before they even view the film, then if they are not too lazy still, they can investigate but not believe anything you shoot.

CYA is far more important that any crime in this country, even murder.

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philba
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Post by philba » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:48 am

sheesh, this thread's going south.

what are you trying to accomplish? I though it was to monitor the actions of the driver in the car being monitored. As such, I don't think a video of the driver helps a lot to catch driving misbehavior. I have an upcoming teenage driver and as such want monitoring of vehicle behavior. Also, a video implies a lot more storage and complex installation.

My specs are:
- speed
- g forces
- rpm
- position (optional with GPS)
- automatic reporting via a wireless (bluetooth, maybe) connection.

such a device should tap into OBDII and use GPS. When the car returns home, an automated process would retrieve that data and comb it for exceptions. If any are found, an email is generated to me.

An interesting side effect of this is that car performance can be evaluated and maybe problems can be caught early. So it could be sold as a safety/maintenance device as well as a driver monitor. This might also be targeted at rental and corporate fleets.

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:59 am

Other non-recorded applications exist for cameras in cars. I heard of research into a camera that tracks eye movements and judges when the driver is sleepy and then emits a wake up tone to alert the driver. Eye movements could also be used to control peripheral devices such as the radio or navigation but that would be pretty sophisticated and AFAIK does not exist in a reliable form yet.

While a car cam may not be very useful in legal issues, it sure can settle a debate in an insurance dispute.

I thought Max Headroom stuttered because of that obvious head injury at the end of the first episode. They need to bring that show back, with all the advances in computers, they could really do it up nice now. (episode 12, Max does battle with a Windows Update patch, takes refuge in a Mac while his bumbling arch enemies at Symantec are always one step behind)

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Post by VIRAND » Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:40 pm

My project was to help the police ticket OTHER people who tend to cause accidents,
in the vicinity of the car, and do a small part to improve the safety of the car.

Yours seems to be to wiretap your own driver "for safety and legal reasons".
I'm not sure how I feel about that, except if you don't trust a driver,
don't give them a car. They will be pissed with a "none of your business" attitude.
The law of unintended consequences says,
If it ain't broke and you fix it, it will be worse than you ever could have imagined.
Don't expect any loyalty from your cyborgs , Big Brother!

The system you specified is called APRS : Automatic Position Reporting System

AWRamsay
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Post by AWRamsay » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:05 pm

[quote="philba"sheesh, this thread's going south.
what are you trying to accomplish? I though it was to monitor the actions of the driver in the car being monitored. ]

Hi Phil,

Allan here... the goal is to capture events in front of the car as well as in the cockpit for teenage and novice drivers. Then, to make it available via flash drive or similar to parents to view on their PC to manage and mentor their kids. Driving crashes are the #1 cause of death for kid 15-20 and having parents able to monitor what happened is a powerful deterrent against risky driving behaviors.

The design we're looking for doesn't need to record continuously. It needs to have triggers such as accelerometer to detect hard braking, hard cornering, etc so the video "just completed" (say 15-20 seconds before the event) and "just after" are saved to a flash drive. That way Dad can pull it out of the device and review it with the child. An alert to the driver that an event has been recorded will also go a long way to deter future risky driving.

Does this help? Any ideas on existing products that could be put together into a working prototype? Or does this look more like a ground up design issue? (You can tell Im not too savvy on all the options already on the market, so any advice there would be great!)

Thanks

AWRamsay
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Post by AWRamsay » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:19 pm

haklesup wrote:Other non-recorded applications exist for cameras in cars. I heard of research into a camera that tracks eye movements and judges when the driver is sleepy and then emits a wake up tone to alert the driver.
Yes, there were a few studies done with in-car video; one was by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They video taped over 2 million miles of driving using in-vehicle video equipment and a Pentium PC in the trunk, following 100 drivers for a period of one year. Here's the report in case you want to go through 220+ pages: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/department ... 810594.pdf.

Quite a project.

Allan

AWRamsay
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Post by AWRamsay » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:27 pm

VIRAND wrote:My project was to help the police ticket OTHER people who tend to cause accidents,
in the vicinity of the car, and do a small part to improve the safety of the car.

Yours seems to be to wiretap your own driver "for safety and legal reasons".

The system you specified is called APRS : Automatic Position Reporting System
Thanks for the info on APRS. I was a ham (WA8BOG) years ago but haven't stayed in touch with all the wasy 2M band is being used.

On vehicle location, we sell GPS tracking solutions to parents who want to manage their teenager's driving. It's a real boon to parents who want to take an active role in managing their kid's driving once they get their intermediate and full privilege licenses. No more "side trips" when son says he's going to point A and actually goes to point B. I just talked to an attorney today who was a solicitor in juvenile crime who said she handled a case where a boy did just that, got into a crash and lost an eye. Sad. But GPS can go a long way to preventing that for parents who care.

Allan

Allan

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haklesup
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Post by haklesup » Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:04 pm

Parents can cluge together something like what you describe using a personal DVR like this http://security.mitsi.com/MicroDVR/MicroDVR.htm and a cell phone with what they (At least Verizon) now call "Chaperon Parent" (basically a GPS / Internet tracking built into the cell phone and accessible to subscribers.

Something like that uDVR with a few S/W tweaks sounds like it will work.

Even though that is available, consumers generally do buy products packaged for the application they desire rather than designing it from available technologies. So putting these components into a kit and marketing it as such should work just fine.

When you put your own equipment in your own car to monitor yourself or minors in your charge, there is no privacy issue to avoid. However if you record your kid's friend's conversation about whatever, that may be unusable in court (say you want to show it was the passengers fault).

The only other issues to address is making the system tamper proof (can't change date, substitute video or delete without password etc.). You could deal with that by using a secure digital card and somehow hiding or encrypting the data or locking the card. Though if I were to use this, any tampering would indicate a violation worthy of restricting car privileges.

Here are some more
http://www.eyespyvideo.com/videorecorde ... mdvr-3.htm
http://www.pimall.com/nais/vitocam.html
http://www.spygadgets.com/digital-video ... order.html

Perhaps you could work with one of these vendors to modify and sell you some as an OEM.

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:56 pm

You will need to get out your crystal ball if you think this will work?

"say 15-20 seconds before the event"

Im not aware of any pieces of equipment that arent constantly on,... to see what "might" happen, especially in the future,..... for equipment normally off.

AWRamsay
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Post by AWRamsay » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:03 pm

Chris Smith wrote:You will need to get out your crystal ball if you think this will work?

"say 15-20 seconds before the event"

Im not aware of any pieces of equipment that arent constantly on,... to see what "might" happen, especially in the future,..... for equipment normally off.
Actually this is not as strange as it sounds. With the camera always on, putting data into memory continuously, when an event occurs we need to go into RAM to find the point 15-20 seconds before the event. Kind of like a continuous loop recording that some security cameras might use.

That way we can save the pre-event, the event itself and the post-event to an external flash drive, etc.

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