First time accepted submitter int2str writes "Autocross is a form of motorsports practiced in the U.S. and around the world where car enthusiasts explore the capabilities of their car in an open parking lot or similar suited area. It's point-to-point racing (not closed circuit). Most of these events are organized by car clubs and volunteers. Timing is usually done with a form of detection beam at start and finish that gets interrupted by the car crossing the beam. Many commercial systems are available. All of these system require the operator to enter the car's number or ID and requires the cars finishing in the order they started. So if one car is not able to finish, the operator has to intervene, or timing is broken. For closed circuit racing, transponder systems are available to address this problem. But such systems require sensor loops in the track or overhead (bridge setup) and the transponders are expensive. Do you think it would be possible to design a timing system using off-the-shelf parts and open source solutions to uniquely distinguish about 100 participating vehicles and time them from a start to a finish point, independently of their finishing order?" Read below for some more details:int2str continues: "My initial idea would be:
- Use (web-?)cameras at each end that feed into a Linux based notebook (USB/Ethernet).
- Start recoding still images as fast as possible when motion is detected
- Identify unique shape, numbers, barcode, qr code or similar in the images, that have been attached using a magnet to the vehicle's door.
Difficulties to overcome:
- Camera with high enough shutter speed to get recognizable image of vehicle traveling 30-60mph
- Quickly and accurately identify a unique symbol or shape
So far I've started looking into OpenCV as a possible tool for image recognition, but have not been able to find a capture solution. Does anybody have experience with something like this? The solution would be open source and well documented as to benefit the many car clubs around the country and the world."