Good Thinking

Hornet system aims to sting noisy drivers

Hornet system aims to sting no...
The Hornet system identifies overy-loud vehicles, so their owners can be ticketed
The Hornet system identifies overy-loud vehicles, so their owners can be ticketed
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The Hornet system identifies overy-loud vehicles, so their owners can be ticketed
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The Hornet system identifies overy-loud vehicles, so their owners can be ticketed

We already have photo radar systems that automatically snap photos of cars that are speeding, but what if a vehicle is being too noisy? This could include cars with loud stereos, illegal mufflers, or horns that get honked just a little too often. Well, if Hornet Industries has its way, its Hornet Advanced Noise Control System will soon be taking care of those, too.

The idea is that individual unmanned Hornet systems will be set up at various locations around a city, such as at busy intersections or on popular cruising streets. Vehicles that are too loud will then be identified in real time, their image (with the license plate) will be captured on video, and a central dispatcher will subsequently send them a ticket. Theoretically, one such dispatcher could simultaneously be receiving notifications from eight to ten systems located throughout the city.

Here's how it actually works …

Each system consists of several microphones which are spaced apart from one another, along with a video camera. When an unusually loud noise is detected, the system's software determines the exact nanosecond at which that sound reaches each mic. By comparing the differences between those times, it's possible to triangulate the X,Y and Z coordinates of the source of the noise.

Because the location and angle of the camera is known (as relative to the locations of the mics), it's likewise possible to identify the offending vehicle in a corresponding video image.

While similar systems do already exist, Hornet CEO Robert Vatcher tells us that his company's technology is more precise than anything that has come before. Due to the proprietary algorithms utilized, it can reportedly locate a sound source down to an accuracy of 25 mm. In fact, Vatcher says that the system may even find use locating snipers in battlefield settings.

In the meantime, though, the company is seeking municipalities that are receptive to trying the system out on a pilot project basis. The City of New York has already expressed an interest.

Source: Hornet Industries

10 comments
guzmanchinky
Noise pollution, especially from vehicles like open pipe motorcycles or exotic cars, is a bane of modern city living. I long for the day when every vehicle is electric and silent. Until then, enforcing the rules would help.
Bill Bennett
Another money source for the law enforcement people.
Bob Flint
With jack hammers and sirens, and overhead aircraft, trains etc. noise masking the local noisy muffler, I see limited use for revenue for this.
HensleyBeuronGarlington
Agreed, noise pollution is no joke. It angers me to no end to discover that there are regulations in some jurisdictions that enforce adding noise to electric vehicles because there quietness makes them less noticeable and thus a safety risk to pedestrians and other drivers. How inefficient and backwards is that?!
Lbrewer42
Hey! And while we are at it, lets start targeting and ticketing cars that don't have a nice enough paint job on them. Maybe we could expand this to somehow check tire treads, percenbtage of rust showing etc. WONDERFUL idea - the government needs to be able to generate more tickets so they can take even more of our money. Besides this, they also get the added bonus of more control over us. The Bolsheviks would be proud.
Robert in Vancouver
Noise pollution from cars and motorcycles is done for no good reason, so the people creating such noise should be fined heavily. But noise pollution from sources like construction sites and airplanes is a by-product of something that benefits a lot of people and is regulated to minimize it's impact.
Les.B.
It'a about time the noise pollution caused by infantile drivers be seriously addressed. I'm all for it.
rocketride
@Hensley_etc. @robo What a first-world cause you have for anger. Quietude and energy efficiency are worthy goals but not so much so that it is never appropriate to make noise not to deliberately divert energy to do so. The noise a motorcycle makes does serve a useful purpose. As notification that a small, fast and highly maneuverable vehicle is in the vicinity. I don't know about but the horizontal field of my vision is about 180 degrees. That means that I can't see half of my surroundings (in the horizontl plane) at a given time. Having the audible 'warning' of a motorcycle's approach from the direction I'm not looking at at the moment is a GOOD thing. The artificial noise made by an electric car also serves similar, but not identical, useful purpose. I've been in parking lots and been in the way (as a pedestrian) of electric vehicles that I did not hear coming and needlessly delayed getting out of their way because of simply not knowing they were there, waiting.
enmity
@rocketride Nice try. Loud motorcycles invariably have pipes projecting backward, which results in the vast majority of the noise coming from the BACK. This belies your claim that they warn of an approaching motorcycle. Even if the excessive noise did increase safety, so what? You get to ruin my life so you can use your first choice in transportation? Last night I was woke up at 3:30 AM by an extremely loud motorcycle. This happens nearly EVERY night, multiple times. The ONLY time I ever get a break is when it is raining or there is ~60%+ chance of rain in the immediate future. As a result, I am tired all the time and suffer all the trickle-down effects at home and at work. Go ahead and repeat to me how it's somehow your right to hurt my ears, interrupt my conversations, command my attention, and wake me and my child up whenever you like.
Grunchy
I discovered a little-known secret about motorcycles, it turns out they have a deliberate noise-making device built into its structure called a HORN. So all the bikers insisting they need noise to be safe, go blow your horn.