Despite their popularity on the nightly news, high-speed car chases put many lives in danger: innocent bystanders, other drivers, the perpetrators and the police chasing them. However, a new James Bond-like technology for squad cars could bring high-speed chases to a halt, without letting the bad guys off the hook.
“Starchase” is a compressed-air cannon mounted in the squad car’s grille and controlled from a console inside the cab. With a simple push of a button, the officer can fire a sticky GPS-equipped projectile at the perp’s vehicle, where it adheres. The device sends real-time GPS coordinates to a law-enforcement computer or phone, allowing the police to track the offender without engaging in a high-speed chase.
The idea is that criminals will eventually slow down when they think they aren’t being chased, making it easier and safer for police to remain in pursuit. Though the sticky projectiles are removable, officials believe as long as they remain close, criminals will not be able to stop their car and remove the device.
Starchase is currently being tested by police departments in select states for a six-month trial period. So far, there’s been a few kinks to work out, as this news clip from St. Petersburg reported. In a media demo, the local police department showcased the system, but only got one out of four bullets to stick to a parked squad car. Being that each projectile costs $250 each, and the system costs $5,000, tax payers might be a little wary of their dollars going towards technology that’s a bit off target. Still, it’s a novel idea, as long as you’re not the one being chased.