The creators of a new AI-powered app that lets anyone check the speed of a passing car say they’ve had to hide their identities following a number of ‘vicious’ online attacks. “.

‘Speedcam Anywhere’, which launched in March, is designed to allow pedestrians, cyclists and residents to monitor traffic crimes in their area using an AI-powered camera tool .

However, the app’s creators, who are top AI scientists from British universities and Silicon Valley, say they are now afraid to share their true identities due to the amount of hate online. they drew in comments from angry drivers.

Google initially blocked the app from the Play Store, claiming the AI ​​couldn’t accurately measure the speed of cars – which the app makers proved wrong

App founder ‘Sam’ told the Guardian: “We get some pretty abusive emails. It’s a Marmite product – some people think it’s a good idea, some people think it’s turns us into a surveillance state.

“I can see both sides of this, but I think if you’re going to have speed limits, then it’s the law that you obey them, and you have to enforce the law. It’s not a personal vendetta against whoever it is, it’s just… how do we make our roads safe?”

The app has received critical feedback in reviews. On the Google Play Storeusers have accused app makers of wanting to give more power to the government.

“As if life weren’t hard enough, we have governments, mayors and police who are just trying to make our lives harder and harder by the day…never easy. […] The minority of social rejects will love this idea to give meaning to their worthless lives. The future looks very bleak indeed,” wrote Android user bmw0208.

Speeding tickets cost UK drivers around £600,000 a day
Speeding tickets cost UK drivers around £600,000 a day

Another said: “Absolutely ridiculous this snitch culture we have these days. The creator(s) of this app should be caught speeding by using their own apps and reported to the police for it… what joke !!!”

The app itself hasn’t had an easy path to the public. Google initially blocked the developers from publishing it on Play Store, claiming that it was impossible to estimate the speed of a passing car using only AI (which the developers turned out to be wrong).

Apple has also yet to approve an iOS version of the app, with Apple giving no reason for the delay.

Enforcement chief Sam said: “We don’t know why they would block useful technology, something that could save people’s lives.

The app itself doesn’t generate enough evidence for police to use against offending drivers, but gives people a way to document problems and repeat offenders in their area.