Incredible Police Car Technologies Hitting The Road This Year
Nobody is immune to the wave of technology currently crashing over humanity, even the police. They too are having their worlds transformed by the march of technology. From new sirens to hidden headlamps, they’re able to do their work on the road like never before. Here are some of the incredible technologies now at their disposal.
Sirens That Don’t Go “Nee-Nor”
Our ears are remarkable devices. It’s a myth to say that they’re just used to pick up sounds. They’re actually three-dimensional listening devices, able to pinpoint the source of a sound. But, unfortunately, they’re not foolproof. On the road, traditional “nee-nor” sirens are notoriously hard for people to locate. They just don’t produce the right range of wavelengths for the human ear to determine a point of origin. This is problematic for emergency vehicles trying to get through traffic. Now, though, a new sound technology has arrived. This sends out a burst of different wavelengths in all directions. And it sounds like a rumbling earthquake. The good news is that the human ear can detect where the sound is coming from more accurately. The bad news is that it might frighten people who think they’re in the midst of an earthquake.
LED dashboard lights are now widely deployed by police to keep their vehicles more stealthy. These tiny lights usually just plug into the car’s cigarette lighter. And they’re small enough to keep unmarked vehicles undetected on the road. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t pack some punch. Thanks to new LED technologies, these lights are much brighter than the old fluorescent that used to sit atop police vehicles.
James Bond always drove an Aston Martin with a few modifications. One of the best was an adjustment where miniguns popped out of the bonnet and started firing at the car in front. Now US police have taken a leaf out of Bond’s playbook. They’ve started installing some of their vehicles with what’s known as the StarChase system. The StarChase system is a gun of sorts. But it doesn’t fire live rounds. Instead, it shoots little GPS tracking units using compressed air.
The police hope that this system will help reduce the risks involved in dangerous pursuits. Instead of pursuing a vehicle until it crashes to a stop or gets away, the police can now just tag it. After the vehicle has been tagged, the pursuit can be ended. And then police units can surround the car later when the suspect’s guard is down.
Automatic License Readers
Here’s where things start to get a little scary. Now the police have access to intelligent systems that can read thousands of license plates every hour. All the police have to do is drive their cars down the road, and the automatic reader will catch anyone doing something they shouldn’t. Civil liberties groups are rightly concerned with this type of thing. But law enforcement officials insist that it’s a necessary way to overcome their resource constraints. When there are only twenty cars on patrol in a big city, this kind of mass surveillance technology, they argue, is necessary.