UK license plate camera tricked by clothes


It is a story that has caused consternation and joy in equal measure among the British, that car owners in Surrey were fined for driving in a bus lane miles away in Bath, when in fact the camera had been confused by the text on a sweater worn by a pedestrian. It seems the word ‘knitter’ has been interpreted by the reader as ‘KN19 TER’, which, as the British will tell you, follows the standard modern British license plate format.

It gives us all a chance to laugh about the good old days at the expense of UK traffic authorities, but it does raise some interesting points about the illusion of relying on automatic cameras to issue fines without human intervention. With the exception of the oldest of the cars, the UK license plate follows an extremely distinctive high contrast format of large black letters on a reflective white or yellow background, and since 2001 they have all had to use the same slightly bossy name. . MANDATORY character. They are not the most difficult prospect for a license plate recognition system, but even when it does make mistakes, the fact that ambiguous results do not go through a human verification step before a fine. not being sent seems rather scary.

It also raises the prospect of even more license plate mischief aside from the SQL injections jokes and contradictory mode, one can only imagine the havoc that could be caused if a protest group launched a denial of service attack with activists sporting MANDATORY fake license plates.

Header image, based on the work of ZElsb, CC BY-SA 4.0.

About Walter Bartholomew

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