Finalist 2019

Acusensus Heads-Up Solution


Driver distraction is a major unaddressed cause of road trauma and fatalities. Victorian start-up Acusensus, based out of the Melbourne Accelerator Program, has developed world-leading technology to capture the illegal use of mobile phones by drivers.

The 'Acusensus Heads-Up' enforcement solution has been designed to give authorities an effective tool to address distraction and drive behavioural change on the road network. The system can be provided in the form of fixed enforcement cameras, mobile trailer or vehicle mounted cameras.

These cameras can be used to provide anywhere-anytime enforcement to reduce the prevalence of distracted driving, speeding and unregistered offences.

Design Excellence

Acusensus has developed advanced vehicle and vessel detection, high-speed image capture and image analysis and recognition technologies to address a range of safety problems including distracted driving, speeding, and ANPR.

Acusensus recently partnered with the NSW Government to rollout the world’s first mobile phone detection camera pilot. The pioneering distracted driving automated enforcement solution 'Acusensus Heads-Up' is currently being piloted at two fixed locations and as a transportable solution in Sydney.

Design Impact

Enforcement is the credible, proven approach to driver behaviour problems that can be implemented quickly and deliver road trauma reduction rapidly. A single ‘Acusensus Heads-Up’ camera would catch 730% more offences per day than all current Victorian Police operations. Just 100 solutions would raise the chance of getting caught to 10%.

A world first pilot program was conducted in NSW recently where over 95,000 illegal phone use offences were detected in 90 days.

Design Transformation

Illegal phone use is endemic. 25% of road crashes involve a distracted driver and 9% of road fatalities can be attributed to phone-distracted drivers. Current police enforcement mostly captures drivers stopped at traffic lights and intersections, yet most dangerous behaviour involves drivers in-motion.

In the first 90 days of the NSW government\'s world-first pilot of the 'Acusensus Heads-Up' solution at two sites, over 95000 drivers were identified illegally using their phones at speed.

Source: Mobile Phone Use & Distraction, CARRS-Q Distracted Driving Factsheet, Feb 2017 & Distracted Driving in Fatal Crashes, 2017, Traffic Safety Facts Research Note, NHTSA, April 2019

Design Innovation

A radar detects and records the speeds of all vehicles, 12MP cameras capture high-resolution evidence of phone use, and an invisible flash ensures 24/7 operation. The system hardware is compact, light and unobtrusive, permitting economical deployment on a wide range of pre-existing infrastructure.

Sophisticated algorithms automatically detect the driver, and then automatically determine likelihood of phone use. For Police assisted operations the images of offending drivers can be  forwarded to a waiting intercept vehicle within seconds.

For an automated enforcement program, an infinitely scalable cloud-based system allows manual review of AI flagged anonymised driver crops to efficiently process shortlisted images.

The 'Acusensus Heads-Up' solution features a 3D high definition radar that measures speed, range and angle for all targets across multiple lanes. The radar is primarily used to detect speed offences and trigger precise photos. The data can also be used to provide insights into traffic and speed patterns for each deployment.

Other Key Features

Integral to the program is the privacy of data. In the automated solution licence plate data remains always encrypted and only viewable by the authority, and review staff can see only drivers, not passengers or other information.

Acusensus is also able to automatically blur out everything in extracted images bar the driver if required or requested.

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