Rochester, N.Y. - From the Norton Street
overpass a high-tech camera monitors traffic on Route 590 below while three engineers direct the process from a connected laptop.
They are working to develop technology to help police in cities like Los Angeles monitor carpool lanes.
“It acts like a police man and it looks at every car and it isolates the vehicle which has only single occupants in that vehicle,” explains Abu Islam.
Yet these researchers do not work for the DOT. They are experts in designing copiers for Xerox in Webster.
For many people the word Xerox is a generic term for making a copy. Yet soon you might find the company’s name on products tied to your parking meter or in the hands of cops on the side of the road.
Turns out the infrared scanners and processors which tell high tech copiers how to print text vs. graphics vs. photos will work inside traffic monitoring cameras too.
“It’s taking a picture, then identifies how many people are in the vehicle, what is the (license) plate of this vehicle,” says Islam. “So it’s extracting information from this image.”
Currently police officers sit on the side of the road and visually inspect vehicles in the carpool lane which are supposed to have more than one occupant. The cameras Xerox is developing will take the place of officers.
The images captured by the cameras are run through analytics also developed by Xerox which rule out vehicles with more than one person inside. The remaining pictures are sent to police.
“The police can verify those images, he can be sitting back in his office and send out violation tickets,” says Islam.
Xerox researchers are looking at how what makes copiers tick. It might also help create “smart” parking meters (that allow you to add money to the meter from your cell phone) and parking lots that let you know if a spot is available before you leave home.