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Paris is testing ‘noise radar’ that will automatically ticket loud cars

Revving a noisy engine could get you in trouble.

Paris is testing 'noise radar' that will automatically ticket loud cars.
A newly installed “noise radar”, a measuring device that can precisely measure and locate sounds from a moving vehicles as well as register their licence plates, is seen at Villeneuve-le-Roi, a town next to Paris airport Orly, France, August 30, 2019.

Parisians with powerful cars might want to think carefully before showing off their rides. Parts of the city (most recently the suburb of Villeneuve-le-Roi) are testing a “noise radar” system from Bruitparif that can pinpoint loud vehicles and, eventually, ticket them. The system uses four microphones to triangulate the origins of a sound and link it with CCTV footage to pinpoint whoever’s making the racket.

Just shy of 40 of the devices are in use so far, primarily near bars in Paris’ entertainment regions as well as 17 around major buildings.

The two-year trial isn’t meant to fine anyone. Rather, it’s meant to both test the viability of the technology and determine the noise levels that lead to penalties. However, people with souped-up rides might not want to get too comfortable. A draft law due for a vote this fall will let local officials experiment with noise radar fines, and Villeneuve-le-Roi intends to take advantage of it if and when the law takes effect. You might have one more incentive to drive a quiet EV — you’ll hardly make a sound even if you mash the throttle.


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