Friday, November 23, 2012
Autonomous vehicles and flying drones that would disable a suspect’s car remotely with an electromagnetic pulse are set to patrol highways by 2025 according to a number of concept vehciles designed by major manufacturers such as Honda, BMW and General Motors.
The 2012 LA Design Challenge asked companies to come up with a concept for “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025,” with the winner set to be announced next week.
Most of the entrants for the competition have responded with designs that overwhelmingly suggest “patrol cars and motorcycles would be replaced by computerized drones,” within the next 10-15 years, reports the New York Times.
Honda’s entry, the Honda CHP Drone Squad, includes both a four wheeled drone vehicle and a two-wheeled motorcycle-style drone, both of which would hunt down suspects without the need to be manned.
General Motors’ concept, named the Vault Squad, includes three futuristic vehicles designed to “observe, pursue or engage.” The NY Times noted that the term “engage” was “left menacingly undefined.”
BMW’s DesignworksUSA studio came up the E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle), which would allow the operator to deploy an airborne armed surveillance drone which would have the capability to disable a suspect’s vehicle using an electromagnetic pulse.
“The main structure can deploy three drones. The top drone sits above the main structure and is a flying drone, while the other two are one wheel vehicles attached to the rear,” according to BMW. “In the case of a pursuit during heavy traffic areas, the patrol officer sitting in the two passenger main structure can deploy either the flying drone or one of the single wheel drones to chase the suspect and report back data to the main structure. When all drones are deployed, the main structure can continue to function. All drones have added protection benefits in that they can send an impulse to another vehicle and disable it.”