Excessive honking has practically become embedded into the fabric of urban life, particularly in heavily populated cities with a large amount of cars. China, one of the most noise polluted nations, is taking drastic steps to reduce car honking by implementing acoustic cameras.
“The acoustic camera system consists of a 32-microphone array, a high-definition camera, a display screen, a flash and a processing system. Once a car honks, the microphones zero in on the source of the sound. The camera will then capture the image of the car’s license plate and film a two-second video,” explains Inkstone News. These cameras have been installed in forty Chinese cities and are capable of catching honking drivers with a 92-95% accuracy rate.
At the moment, the acoustic cameras are not capable of identifying drivers on the spot, relying on human officers to review the footage. Police officers in forty cities will have to analyze the two-second movie of a honking car to determine if the drivers in question had a reason to rely on the car horn in the first place. If not, they’ll be fined.
At the moment, Beijing is in the top six noisiest cities in the world. This project aims to reduce the area’s increasing noise pollution through these fees. If the city combines these cameras with the facial recognition technology used by police offers and the social credit system, it could see a rapid decrease in noise pollution.