Australia is rolling out a new surveillance device to help clamp down on mobile phone and tablet use among drivers.

The new ‘mobile phone detection camera’ is able to see inside vehicles and catch drivers who are using mobile phones or tablets while behind the wheel.

The high definition camera works by capturing images of the front of a vehicle. More specifically, the device consists of two separate chambers – one to detect the license plate, the other to capture the position of the driver’s hands. And then the system uses artificial intelligence to automatically review the images and divide unruly motorists from those abiding by the Highway Code. From there, the images are sent off to be verified by authorised personnel, who makes the final decision if a fine and points deduction is the appropriate action. Clever stuff.


While undergoing testing in New South Wales between January and June 2019, over 8.5 million vehicles were checked. Out of which, 100,000 drivers were caught with their mobile phones in their hands. By the end of the year 45 of the new mobile phone detection cameras will be installed across Australia – with plans to introduce the system across the whole of the country for 2023.

It’s great to see a government being proactive about the use of phones and tablets on its countries roads – and the use of AI technology to deal with the brunt of the work is a great solution to police forces increasingly limited resources. Hopefully someone in the British government is taking note.  

Ross Mowbray

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