Roke develops black box for cars

Roke develops black box for cars

A leading Hampshire engineering consultancy is looking to revolutionise the automotive industry with its latest development dubbed ‘a black box for cars.’

Roke Manor Research (Roke) has developed what it claims is the world’s first viable 3D ‘black box’ technology for vehicles, using just a single dashboard camera. 

Fitted to an autonomous Toyota Prius, Roke demonstrated how data captured via vision processing technology could be used to provide a precise 3D reconstruction following a road incident.  

It’s set to offer insurers, drivers and, in the case of autonomous vehicles, manufacturers independent evidence of what happened.

This will not just lead to safer vehicles but also help to build public trust in driver-less vehicles.

Early iterations of this technology were first developed by Roke for soldiers in research undertaken for the UK government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Over the past year, Roke has been developing and miniaturising the technology with the help of funding from Innovate UK.

David Cole, managing director of Roke, said: “The funding from Innovate UK is essential in helping Roke remain at the forefront of autonomous and sensing technology.

“With 60 years of research under our belt, the money invested has the benefit of world-class engineers with experience across the defence, commercial and national security sectors.”

Roland Meister, head of transport for Innovate UK, added: “Innovate UK and the centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles are excited to be able to support UK research and Development into Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

“The Industry led feasibility studies such as Roke’s ‘black box’ solution are great examples of UK capability in this area and we expect to support many more projects over the coming years.”

With further investment, the technology is not just limited to accident reconstruction but could also prove useful for sports coaching or meet wider needs in the transport industry.