Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Learning radar detector

For use in cities.
  [vote for,

I've had a radar detector for a little over a year (not because I speed, but it never hurts to know when cops might be lurking around the corner) and one thing that really irritates me is that, when driving through a city, the security systems on the shops and other buildings that line the streets cause my detector to go off, so when driving through a city it's pretty much useless. Even in "City Mode". Some radar detectors allow you to choose from many levels of sensitivity for city driving, but by lowering the sensitivity you increase the risk of not detecting police radar that might be pinging you. Now I drive the same streets every day on my way to and from work. My detector goes off in the same places every time I drive through them. The problem with this is is that I have no way of knowing if there is a cop lurking in those areas. What I'm proposing is a radar detector that keeps track of the source of every radar-emitting device it detects, and logs them in its memory. When you get home that night, you take out the memory card and insert it into your computer where you can view the source of each radar ping that set off your detector. If it's a building, it displays the address on a map. If it's not a building, you can safely assume it's a policeman. What you do is click on each source that you know is a building and it knows to ignore that source in the future, so if you pass a building you told it to ignore and you still get a ping, you know it's a good bet there's a cop lurking nearby and you should watch your p's and q's.

Oh yeah, and I want it to automatically mute itself when the vehicle is stopped. It's the most irritating thing when I'm stopped at a light for 5 minutes next to a Porsche dealership or a cop that's stopped right next to me has his radar on and my detector is squealing madly when, since I'm stopped, even police radar is no threat to me.

21 Quest, Oct 12 2007

Scientist Wins Court Case with Semantics http://www.physorg.com/news111482871.html
[quantum_flux, Oct 14 2007]

We can already learn about speeding http://www.thestar..../GTA/article/264421
[Ander, Oct 18 2007]


       Mine doesn't mute itself, but goes into a quiet mode when it is NOT a cop. Check out Passport radar detectors.
xandram, Oct 13 2007

       Hm... is Passport a brand? Mine's a Cobra.

       Upon further research, Passport does indeed seem to be ranked up among the top-rated detector brands. I read one testing site, and they rated the Valentine 1 and Seti Drive something or other as the top 2, but at 399 and 548 bucks apiece... damn.
21 Quest, Oct 13 2007

       Mine cost about $350 US, several years ago, but well worth the investment. It is not totally annoyance-free, but it does behave well.
xandram, Oct 13 2007

Shame on you people for not wanting to give up your hard earned money to the police coffers as the end of every month nears.


       I think I know where you're going with this, and I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you about the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
21 Quest, Oct 13 2007

       /the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution./

       Are you worried that your privates might be taken for public use, without just compensation?
bungston, Oct 14 2007

       As a matter of fact...
21 Quest, Oct 14 2007

       Having the detector mute at rest is good, but mute up to ~20mph would be even better. The only case for a speed zone of less than 20mph is a school zone, and if you're speeding there you deserve to get caught.

elhigh, Oct 16 2007

       Is there going to be GPS on the unit? How do you propose that it's going to remember the positive/false positive training? I confess to knowing nothing about radar detecting beyond having owned one in the past. Is there some kind of identifiable frequency or something in the non-police devices that the detector can use to differentiate?
Noexit, Oct 16 2007

       I'm not really sure if it can tell apart the types of radar, since they use the same bandwidths (X-band, K-Band, and Ka-Band primarily), but I'm pretty sure it's possible to trace the source of radar that's pinging you. All this does is trace the source and mark the location on a map. If the location is ON a building, then you can safely assume it's the building's radar that set it off. If it's NEAR a building, then it's probably a police cruiser and you might want to note the location as a possible speed trap. I have seen police get awfully devious, however, parking in the spaces *between* houses in residential areas (not really sure if they can legally do that in someone else's yard, but it might have been a cop's house on one side). And yes, I was thinking about having it linked with a GPS device, or maybe some other mapping system.
21 Quest, Oct 16 2007

       Apart from the fact that the concept of "city driving" is a bit of an oxymoron these days... I don't get people who insist on driving 50 mph in the middle of busy shopping streets. What's the advantage? That you get to wait in front of red lights 5 seconds longer than everyone else? Don't get me wrong. I am not myself a fan of speed limits on motorways and I agree that radars are debatable there, but there is a very good reason 30mph is strongly enforced in areas full of people walking in all directions.

       [-] for condoning antisocial behaviour. And for an invention that would be tedious to use. (is shaving 2 minutes off your journey time really worth all that trouble of entering radars by hand?)
kinemojo, Oct 17 2007

       //This one is very do-able (similar to spam mail and personal banking fraud detection techniques), and could even give a likelihood warning rather than an absolute 'true' or 'false' decision.//

       It's funny, anti-spam was the first thing I thought of in relation to this idea. The ability to gauge the likelihood of a police radar rather than a straight yes/no might be more helpful and more accurate in the long run. But I think you run into the same problem of having a constantly changing data set. New security system in a building, changed security system in another. Keeping up with the changes may mean your system is never 100% accurate, but might come "close enough" to let you interpret the results correctly. [+]
Noexit, Oct 17 2007

       //I don't get people who insist on driving 50 mph in the middle of busy shopping streets. What's the advantage?//

       I didn't say I was going 50 in a 30 zone, did I? The advantage, during heavy traffic when a lot of old folks are going 5-10 mph BELOW the speed limit, of going the speed limit is not missing as many lights. Seriously, going the speed limit sometimes you look like you're flying because you're rapidly passing a lot of people who like going VERY slow. Police see you passing people very quickly and just assume you're speeding, many times not bothering to use radar. The lights around here are on a timer, and if you're going slower than the speed limit you're going to hit EVERY LIGHT RED, and considering that there are over a dozen lights down the main drag, at 2-5 minutes per light, you're saving a LOT of time.
21 Quest, Oct 17 2007

       In the past (pre-this radar detector) the places I have gotten stopped have been at *speed traps*- a place where the 55 mph speed limit is (temporarily) changed to 35 mph because of an intersection or something.(then goes back to 55 immediately.) The cops sit here just waiting. It isn't the actual ticket that hurts, but in my state one also gets a $100/year for 3 years added on to the cost of already incredibly high car insurance. This is why I have a radar dectector, not to *speed* because I like to go fast. (but I do like to go fast.)
OK, I forgot to give a fast bun before. +
xandram, Oct 17 2007

       I've been nailed by a few speed traps myself. Got one in Deland, Florida that was like you describe, Xan. The speed limit was 45 (I was going 48) and I saw a sign saying "Reduced Speed Ahead" so I let off the gas and covered the brake. I saw a 35 mph about 1/2 a mile ahead, with 3 motorcycle cops parked in front of it, one holding the radar gun, one with his hand on the strobe light switch of his bike, and the other mounted and ready to pursue anyone who tried to flee. What I did NOT see was the other 35 mph sign between the one I saw and the reduced speed warning sign, and I drove right past that one. When I came to a stop on the shoulder, there were two other cars already pulled over and they flagged down another guy as I was getting written up. It was the most blantant speed trap I've ever seen, and it was before I got my radar detector.

       And thanks, Xan, I was in the mood for fast food this morning! I'm going to Burger King to get me a croissan'wich. It feels strangley appropriate.
21 Quest, Oct 17 2007

       Yeah, that was how I got my last ticket. I was going 64 in an area that's normally 60, but they had those pesky cones along the shoulder (not even blocking any lanes and there were no construction crews in sight!) and the speed temporarily reduced to 55. Damned cop wrote me a ticket for going 15 over, said he clocked me at 70, the fucking liar. The thing that got me was that I know he didn't pop me with his radar, because I didn't get a steady tone from my detector that has always indicated a firm lock. The most I got was a few beeps, which means he really popped someone else and I just happened to be nearby, and driving a red car.
21 Quest, Oct 17 2007


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