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20120516 Wednesday May 16, 2012

Singapore Bugis Ferrari crash speed estimate

This is an initial speed estimate of the Ferrari that rammed into the taxi at Bugis Junction, Singapore early in the morning of 5th May 2012. The story and video can be viewed here. Other links, opinions and commentary can be found online on Facebook and other social networking sites.

The usual disclaimers apply : I am not an expert in this area. I am filing this under the Tech section while utilizing appropriate technical tools available to try to come to an estimate, and to show how this could be derived based on currently available data.

Speed = distance divided by time, so we need to estimate both the distance travelled and the time taken. Let's start with the time factor. We shall first look at the video recorded by the other taxi that fortunately escaped the collision. The first frame that shows the Ferrari crossing the second line of the pedestrian crossing is as follows :

7 frames later, the Ferrari has crashed into the side of the taxi :

If we examine the meta-data on the video, we note that it is running at 25 frames per second (25fps) :

7 frames divided by 25 frames per second gives us 0.28 seconds. We need to divide further by 60 to get it in minutes, and divide again by 60 to normalize it into the hours unit which is 7.778E-5 hr, which we then note down.

Next, we need to estimate the distance travelled. Whereas a more accurate method would be of course to go down to the scene and carry out measurements on the spot, the next best estimate we might be able to get is from using the measurement tool on Google Maps while setting it to the maximum possible zoom level without going into Street View mode. This is as follows :

We have 14 meters, give or take perhaps a meter or two. Normalizing it into the kilometer unit, we get 0.014km. Hence, the initial estimate of the speed is 0.014 km / 7.778E-5 hour = 180 km/h.

No doubt there could be questions about counting the frames in the video. Each frame is 0.04 seconds long, and let's say the count is off by 1 frame or less (i.e. between 6 and 7 frames). In addition, the line drawn with the measurement tool on Google Maps could be perhaps shorter by a meter or two (give or take). We plug these figures into a spreadsheet and arrive at a matrix of various speed estimates :

As can be seen, the speed estimates range from 154 to 210 km/h, depending on the two variables of frame count and distance travelled. The speed of the Ferrari based on the above estimation is thus 180 km/h +/- 30 km/h.

(2012-05-16 21:48:21 SGT) [Tech] Permalink Comments [2]

Comments:

It may be even faster.
It ploughed into the ill-fated taxi like a missile or rocket.

The driver is criminally liable, dead or alive, for doing such speed in that part of town.

And all the Chinese Embassy would do is to wag a finger at its countrymen to 'obey' the local law. We need it to do that?

The traffic law should be changed to make his estate liable for all damages. deaths and injuries resulting from such a criminal act. Which brings me to the point that where the evidence is strong, certain traffic accidents, should be elevated into acts of crimes.

Posted by george on May 18, 2012 at 05:24 PM SGT #

Its 300 m from the previous junction at Middle road to the accident. On crossing this junction the Ferrari would have been 14 seconds away at 80 km/hr, already somewhat over the posted speed buts its 4am and he is in a sports car with a girl to impress. Within a few seconds he would have seen the “stale” green on the upcoming Rochor crossing and decided to go for it. But he is still too far when it goes to Amber so he piles on the speed, he has the usual 3 seconds in Singapore until his light goes to red. This car can go from 100 to 150 in this time according to published figures; he is now relying on the additional 2 seconds between his red and the oncoming going to green, the usual case in Singapore. Now at 150 km/hr he is still 4 seconds to impact or over 100 m from the junction at these speeds! It’s a big junction, not obvious in the video. Victoria St is dual carriageway with a divide so no way could the speeding car be seen from the taxi set so far back waiting to go.

Posted by Dominic on May 23, 2012 at 05:51 PM SGT #

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