Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

ANPR Cams - Britain's Roadside Big Brother

ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras are being used to create a "24x7 national vehicle movement database" that will log the movement of every vehicle on the United Kingdom's roads. Your every move will be retained in the system for two years.


(ANPR mobile unit)

According to an article in The Register, the system will go live in April of next year and will process 50 million number plates per day by year's end. ANPR camera systems are to be placed every 400 yards along motorways.

Besides "denying criminals the use of the roads", the system will also link to other databases to identify vehicles that are unregistered and untaxed. The system will be used in the war on terror; UK police have lobbied for detention periods of up to 90 days without charges for terror suspects. Once police have a tip or a suspect in custody, they can sift records of vehicle movement along with everything else.

This technology was predicted sixty years ago by Robert Heinlein in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children. The novel takes place in a near-future Earth society that is very closely regulated. The individual's right to privacy typically means little compared to the right of society to take what it needs from citizens. For example, the movement of every vehicle on the road is monitored by roadside cameras, just like it will be in Britain. Some individuals, however, use other technology to maintain their privacy.

...The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...

She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her... She signaled the traffic control ahead; it cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car, then rang the alarm which notified her to resume local control. Before doing so she fumbled in the storage compartment on the instrument board and fumbled, apparently purposelessly.

But the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway was not the number in which the car was registered.
(Read more about Robert Heinlein's traffic control camera)

Take a look at IP Cameras - Larry Niven's Webeye? for another science-fictional surveillance technology that seems to have arrived. Or, read more about the vehicle movement database and the ANPR system.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/16/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.' - Thomas A. Easton, 1990.

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...' - David Brin, 1990.

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.' - Interstellar.

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.' - Neal Stephenson, 2021.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive....'

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'

Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
'Holodeck 4 was waiting to be programmed...'

Robot Food Delivery Coming To Campus Near You
'... he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Are Craiyon Images Puddinged, ala Philip K. Dick?
'I stood in line for half an hour for this, and it's just a blob!'

Hip'Safe Airbag For Seniors, From Helite
'Other airbags go off around her torso and pelvis...'

Soulaje Self-Administered Euthanasia Wearable Prototype
'A young man... advanced with nervous strides along the gravel path which leads to the bronze doors of the Lethal Chamber.'

Midjourney AI Creates 'Théâtre D'opéra Spatial', Wins Art Fair First Prize
'... we'll give him in his brain what he needs for creation.'

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...'

Space-Based Solar Power A Priority - European Space Agency
'...vast man-made disk of metal set spinning about the sun to supply the Earth with power.'

Goldilocks Zones Found On The Moon
Hopefully, there are no Mynocks in shadowed lunar craters, chewing on the power cables of spacecraft...

Robotic Surgeons Outperform Human Surgeons
'...the objects moving about so gently and putting their instruments away were not living beings, but robots.'

In Your Orchard, Do You Want Buzzing Suction Drones, OR Dick's Claw Hand Drones?
'Something that gleamed, shiny metal, gleamed and clicked as it turned toward her.'

Microbial Protein Production More Efficient Than Crops
'It's the food situation I'm worried about...'

The Sample Transfer Arm (STA), A Unique Mars Robot
'...a cranelike arm reached out. Grasping steel fingers fished around...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.