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Ground breaking passenger detection technology wins global award for innovation

A new infrared imaging system developed at Loughborough University that automatically counts the number of people in moving road vehicles has won a prestigious innovation award from The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), one of the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community.

The vehicle monitoring system, dtect, can be used in all weathers, day or night, to instantly to detect human skin behind all types of automotive glass at a range of 10-100 metres. Its inventor Dr John Tyrer, a Loughborough University optical engineer, designed it as a means of enforcing car sharing priority lanes to ease congestion, but the technology is also used in road tolling and to monitor vehicles entering high security areas.

Since its successful trial on some of the UK’s major trunk roads and traffic black spots, dtect has received considerable investment by Avingtrans Plc, an AIM listed company specialising in the design and manufacture of critical components and associated services to the medical, aerospace and transport sectors.

dtect is part of a portfolio of innovations in non-contact testing developed by John Tyrer who formed his first spin out company Laser Optical Engineering in 1997. Seven years later, he formed his second, Vehicle Occupancy Ltd, specifically to boost dtect’s commercial prospects. The recent alliance with Avingtrans has proved a shrewd move as its subsidiary company Crown UK is the leading UK supplier of roadside camera housings.

John Tyrer was presented with the Transport category award at the IET’s annual Innovation in Engineering Awards ceremony at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London, to celebrate excellence in engineering innovation across a range of industry sectors and engineering disciplines. Winners were selected from hundreds of entries from around the world by a distinguished panel of judges.

Anna Seddon | alfa
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