An under-vehicle inspection system generally consists of imaging systems mounted on a roadway and used at facility access points, particularly at secure facilities. An under-vehicle inspection system is used to detect threats—such as bombs—that are hidden underneath vehicles. Cameras capture images of the undercarriage of the vehicle for manual or automated visual inspection by security personnel or systems.
The first under-vehicle inspection system was developed in the late 1980s as part of a joint program between the UK Home Office and Morfax (now a part of the Chemring Group). The system used black and white images from area scan cameras. The systems have since developed encompassing more advanced technologies such as database capabilities in 1994, ANPR vehicle recognition in 1997, automatic change detection in 1999, colour imagery in 2005, and integrated chemical detection in 2012.
Under-vehicle inspection systems can be permanent (embedded in the road), fixed (attached to the road’s surface) or portable (mobile).
Under vehicle inspection systems are known by the acronyms UVI (under-vehicle inspection), UVIS (under-vehicle inspection systems), AUVIS (automated under-vehicle inspection systems), MUVIS (mobile under-vehicle inspection systems), and UVSS (under vehicle surveillance system). The terms UVSS and CUVSS (colour under vehicle surveillance system) were trademarks of the Chemring Group until the re-branding of the Home Office project in 2011.