Some of the worst road accidents in UK history were caused by fog, haze or smoke. March 1972 saw a 200 vehicle pile-up in thick fog just north of Luton on the M1, 51 people died. December 1984, 11 people killed on the M25 in fog, the M5 in 2011 saw seven dead and a further 51 injured and the latest mass incident was in 2013 when 60 people were injured in a 130 car crash on the Sheppey crossing in Kent, eight were seriously hurt. Again fog was to blame.
However, it’s not just the human cost when these accidents occur, the last major fog disaster on our roads meant a bridge closure of just over 9 hours while the wreckage was being cleaned up, that affects the economy as travellers not directly involved get snarled up in the tailbacks.
£226m lost in a single year
In May last year, a report was put together by Hampshire council regarding the impact of road traffic accidents on the local economy, they settled on a figure of £226m lost in a single year. That figure takes into account the local NHS spending, emergency services, improving accident hotspots and road safety education and prevention. This is without taking into account the cost of road closures to clear up incidents.
The majority of accidents happen in fog due to a lack of visibility, couple that with drivers failing to slow down for the conditions and you soon end up with multi-car accidents which can keep occurring many minutes after the initial impact.
Seeing a way through
Currently, the majority of manufacturers fit their latest cars with active safety features, ones that scan the road ahead via a camera system and can bring the vehicle to a stop even at motorway speeds, alas these need a clear view to work if they aren’t relying on a costly radar system. Poor visibility like fog prevents this.
That used to be the case until we developed SeeTrue, this is our smart AI algorithm that lets you see through the fog with nothing more than a camera.
SeeTrue works by detecting the differences in direct, scattered or diffracted light. It then peels back the layer of weather as if it were merely a mask over the image. This does not affect the resolution or quality of the raw footage.
SeeTrue can run as a separate standalone system or integrate directly with the camera and needs no infrared projection. It’s by far the most accessible solution to driving in poor visibility.
Our system could easily be integrated with camera-based active braking systems, doing so would be far more cost-effective than radar or infrared based set-ups and could save lives and money on UK roads.