Laser Scanning Helps Police Create 3D Virtual Models for Crush Damage Assessment

Nottingham, UK, 18 November 2013 – A state of the art laser scanner is helping Hertfordshire Police collect essential data which can be used to calculate the speed of impact of vehicles involved in road traffic collisions. The RIEGL VZ-400, purchased from 3D Laser Mapping, is being used to build highly accurate virtual 3D models of vehicles after their involvement in a crash. These computer generated simulations can then be compared to models of the same type of vehicle, prior to damage, to help estimate the speed of impact and other factors that may have impacted on the incident.
“Whilst conventional measurement methods still work by using the RIEGL laser scanner, we collect more accurate data, much faster and more safely,” commented PC Matthew Hollingsworth a Forensic Collision Investigator at the Beds, Herts and Cambs Collision Investigation Unit. “With the laser scanner there is no need to touch the vehicle which may have sharp edges or be contaminated with vehicle fluids such as oil and battery acid.”
“Not touching the vehicle also helps to preserve other evidence, so that forensically a vehicle can still be analysed,” he continued. “This is significant as it allows the Collision Investigator to obtain essential data without having to wait for a Forensic Examination to be completed.”
Using the RIEGL VZ-400 a vehicle can be scanned, in detail, either at the scene or later at a recovery garage. By then scanning a similar, undamaged, vehicle and overlaying the two datasets a very accurate measurement of impact damage is obtained. Using specialist software, such as Ai Damage, Collision Investigators can then calculate the speed of impact as well as other details of the impact configuration.
Hertfordshire Police purchased the 3D scanner following funding by the Department of Transport, together with National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) contributions. Since taking delivery of the VZ-400 from 3D Laser Mapping the device has been regularly deployed on the county’s roads. One example of where the scanner has been used was a two car collision on a busy town centre ring road where the use of the VZ-400 allowed for significant time savings and prevented the need for a full road closure.
The VZ-400 from 3D Laser Mapping was the product of choice of 14 out of 22 Police Forces awarded funding, ordering a total of 26 RIEGL laser scanners. The devices have now all been delivered to the respective forces by 3D Laser Mapping supported by a comprehensive and well received training programme.

About the RIEGL VZ-400
The RIEGL VZ-400 laser scanners have been proven to provide a significantly greater level of detail and colour compared to other laser scanners and can be used during the day, even in low light conditions, and at night. The VZ-400 utilises unique echo digitisation and online waveform analysis to achieve superior performance and accuracies of measurement, even under adverse weather conditions. Achieving accuracies of 5mm at ranges of up to 600 metres the VZ-400 can measure up to 122,000 points per second with a 100 x 360-degree field of view
About 3D Laser Mapping
3D Laser Mapping is a global developer of laser scanning solutions for sectors such as mapping, mining and manufacturing. 3D Laser Mapping specialises in integrating laser scanning hardware with their own software and peripherals to create solutions at the cutting edge of technology. Through a worldwide network of distributors 3D Laser Mapping is able to provide frontline support and service for a growing international client base. 3D Laser Mapping is also the RIEGL Premier Distributor for the UK, Ireland and sub-Saharan Africa and the leading distributor of TerraScan software. For further information see

RIEGL has over thirty years’ experience in the research, development and production of laser rangefinders, distancemeters and scanners. Primarily a technology company RIEGL specialise in producing technically innovative solutions for specific applications working in partnership with organisations such as 3D Laser Mapping to produce powerful turnkey solutions for multiple fields of application. For further information see