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The LAPD is Testing an Artificial Intelligence Dash Cam to Identify Suspects for Them

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Police Car

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Most cop cars are equipped with dash cams to monitor and record the activities of police-registered vehicles. However, a Houston-based technology company called Coban Technologies is working to improve these dash cams and equip them with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The hope behind this design is for AI police dash cams to identify weapons, vehicles, license plates, and even suspects at a quick glance to ease the burden on police officers. It will also create a more accurate database of dash cam footage for law enforcement.


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The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has been testing these dash cams in their police force. The head of the LAPD’s tactical technology department, Sergeant Daniel Gomez, said, “There’s no doubt there’s value. We want to be on that journey with [Coban Technologies] to understand where they’re going to go, and what they’re going to do.”

The downside to this dash cam technology is that, from the hood of a vehicle, the cameras don’t always have the best angle. When it comes to facial recognition, the suspect has to be looking in the direction of the camera – something that isn’t always possible from a dash cam. But could this technology could be incorporated into police body cams? That has yet to be determined.

Skepticism surrounds this practice, with many residents seeing these AI cameras as invasions of their privacy. Top automotive technology executives have warned the public about artificial intelligence, but many companies like Facebook have continued with the research.

According to Sgt. Gomez, the LAPD is in possession of more than 3.3 million dash cam videos and 2.5 million body cam videos – and that number is growing fast. The LAPD adds approximately 8,500 videos to their database every day.


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The addition of AI technology to these dash cams would save analysts a lot of time. The time spent sorting through tapes and rewatching videos would be eliminated – the AI dash cam could scan and detect faces and weapons in a matter of seconds.

NVIDIA, a tech company partnering with Coban, gave a statement from their vice president, Deepu Talla. “There’s no way there’s enough human eyeballs and enough police officers to keep things safe on their own,” Talla said. “With one billion cameras coming to smart cities by 2020, you would need three billion people to watch these cameras. That’s not a practical way to do this.”

The CEO of Coban Technologies, Doug Dickerson, told CNN that their waiting list is already growing, with police departments nationwide eager to beta test the AI dash cam.


News Source: CNN