Criminals, terrorists and suspicious-looking minorities beware: the New York Police Department is coming after you with the cop car of the future! The NYPD is testing a prototype cruiser with the latest advances in public surveillance, er, public safety.
The Wall Street Journal has a breathless puff piece on the department's "smart car," which isn't a Smart Car, thankfully, but rather a high-tech patrol vehicle outfitted with gear they would like to see on their vehicles in the next decade or so.
It's part of a long-term plan called NYPD2020 that focuses on advancements in police technology and teaching "counterterrorism awareness classes for traffic enforcement agents," which sounds awesome.
Here's just some of what the new car can do:
It has two infrared monitors mounted on the trunk that record any numbers it sees—such as license plates and addresses. It has surveillance cameras and air sensors capable of sending real-time information to police headquarters.
[...] The car's scanner can read license plates, then check the results against a database that contains the plate numbers of cars that are stolen, may have been involved in a crime, or have outstanding infractions. The data is stored for an indefinite period, though that will likely change.
The car can also scan for the air for increased radiation levels and send the data back to police headquarters.
No mention in the WSJ story, of course, of the NYPD's extremely questionable track record as of late when it comes to civil rights, namely wiretapping mosques and the infamous stop and frisk program. Who cares! Police car of the future, baby!
It's also not explicitly mentioned in the story, but we can also expect the car to carry the next generation of anti-Afroduck technology.
— WSJ Greater New York (@WSJNY) December 26, 2013
Photo credit ynkefan1