Even though most future patrol vehicle models and features are treated like state secrets by Chevrolet, Dodge (FCA), and Ford etc, what can we say about the next generation of law enforcement vehicles?

From the addition of vinyl decals to the inclusion of MDTs, a lot has changed in the patrol vehicle since it hit the Ohio streets in 1899.

Even though most future patrol vehicle models and features are treated like state secrets by Chevrolet, Dodge (FCA), and Ford etc, what can we say about the next generation of law enforcement vehicles?

Self-Driving Cars that Arrest?

Self driving police car 2

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The idea is convenience; to develop a car so smart that not only could it drive itself, but could also arrest and process detainees.

Motorola has submitted a patent for self-driving police vehicles that handle the entire processing of the detainee, including a live video feed with a judge, as well as their legal representative, before transportation to the appropriate facility.

Self driving police car

Motorola says arrests for minor crimes can be complex and time-consuming and so this new technology aims to speed up the process and free up time for police officers. The patent reads: ‘By performing law enforcement processes and proceedings within a vehicular environment, an officer is able to remain in the field, thereby advantageously preserving law enforcement resources.’

Hybrid Tech Coming for Police

Police interceptor

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Hybrid technology makes sense in patrol vehicles: Policing requires a lot of stop-and-go driving where it is best to keep the lithium-ion batteries charged. This stored charge is what powers the electrics during extended stops rather than an alternator spun by an idling gasoline-powered engine.

This means reduced fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and big fuel cost savings for police forces.

Ford has been making police cars for years and, this summer, it’s going to roll out the most innovative police vehicle ever produced: The 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility with hybrid powertrain. Based on the 2020 Explorer SUV, it’s the first hybrid big enough to accommodate the power needed in contemporary police operations.

Despite widespread acceptance of this technology amongst, vehicles in the consumer market, the police market is different. Some officers and agencies are reluctant to give up their gas-powered V-8s for this 21st Century engine tech.

However, Michigan State Police has tested the Ford vehicle and hit 137 mph in top speed testing. The only pursuit-rated SUV that topped the PI Utility hybrid was the Ford 3.0-liter EcoBoost PI Utility at 150 mph.

The closing speed performance of the PI Utility hybrid, as measured by its 0-100 mph time, was 17.69 seconds. That’s not as fast as a Hemi Charger, but it outmatches every pursuit-rated SUV.

The Future is Autonomous

Looking into the future, Ford has filed a patent on an autonomous police car that describes a vehicle being able to detect infractions performed by another vehicle; either on its own or in conjunction with surveillance cameras or road-side sensors.

Imagine a police car that issues tickets without needing to pull you over and, at the same time, this car can identify drivers using Artificial Intelligence technology.

According to the patent, the AI-powered police car could wirelessly connect to the infringing car, communicate with the passenger, verify identity and issue a citation.

Considering how quickly autonomous vehicles are being developed, it appears plausible that AI-driven policing may be an aspect of our future.

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