This technology will make police chases a thing of the past before self-driving cars can.
It’s an anarchists worst nightmare. One second they’re tasting freedom, police steadily becoming dots in the rear-view mirror as police ease off so the chase doesn’t endanger the lives of the public. Then there’s a loud “thunk!” on the trunk and the police disappear altogether. Did they give up? It’s only hours later that our hypothetical villain discovers that they in fact did not give up. They just used a smarter tactic to hunt their prison cell fodder. That’s just a taste of StarChase's pursuit technology.
This unique little company hopes to get rich off of stopping police chases altogether and simultaneously ending the pastime of watching America’s Most Dangerous Police Chases on YouTube before the self-driving car can do it. As Ohio’s WTOL reports, the technology is responsible for putting John Bartlett, who pulled a gun on a police officer before fleeing off in his car, behind bars. So what is this magical device? It’s little more than sticky GPS tracker mounted to the front of a police car that is the fired off at a suspect’s car. Once it latches on, the officers can pull back, giving the suspect less incentive to speed and drive in a way that puts everyone in danger.
Officers can then track the suspect and pick an optimal spot to deploy spike strips and end the chase or simply wait for them to get to the safe house. Bartlett’s case is the first time the Lucas County Sheriff’s department has used the technology, and its success means we’ll likely see more of it in the future. "They were able to track him with GPS and other jurisdictions got involved and they knew his location and speed and were able to get in front of him and get stop sticks out and stop him," said Captain Matt Lettke. With a tool like this at an officer’s disposal, police can now apprehend a suspect with a greatly reduced risk to the public, the officers involved, the subject of the chase, and property.
Conversely, it’ll also force adrenaline junkies to find other things to watch on YouTube. While it's not as cool as the bumper grappler, it's yet another innovative way to put a stop to those who threaten the lives of other road goers.