Fujitsu and Kia create a techier yet simpler police car
If you've ever taken a peek inside the front of a police car, then you'll know that there's a lot of gear on or around the dash. Fujitsu and Kia Motors Australia have developed an alternative to such clutter, in the form of a prototype system that could actually make cop cars safer by being simpler.
Installed in a Kia Stinger, which is already used as a highway patrol vehicle in Australia, the setup utilizes the car's existing infotainment screen to present the sort of data that would ordinarily be presented on a separate laptop – this could include things like the codes and addresses for emergency calls.
Additionally, instead of being in a dash-mounted box, the speeder-detecting radar unit is now built into the car's head-up display.
It should also be easier for officers' identities to be verified by the car – while log-ins are currently required in ordinary police vehicles, the Kia prototype has a palm-reading biometric ID system in the gearstick. And on the topic of that stick, three buttons on its front allow drivers to activate the flashing lights and siren without taking their eyes off the road.
Other features of the system include the use of copper electrical wiring throughout the car, which reduces the power draw and thus increases fuel efficiency; and a modular lightbar that's installed using just one cable instead of the usual nine.
In a second phase of the project, plans call for the integration of an artificial intelligence system that will utilize onboard cameras to automatically identify the make and color of suspect cars, and to identify stolen cars within crowded parking lots or in traffic. That system will reportedly also be capable of detecting when an offender has drawn a weapon, and will respond by automatically sending a call for assistance.
"To build each highway patrol police car requires multiple tenders from numerous individual suppliers for each piece of equipment, from the car itself to Mobile Data Terminal (MDT), number plate recognition technology, In-Car-Video (ICV) and radar," says Ian Hamer, Principal Architect for Fujitsu Australia. "Fujitsu's enhanced vehicle ecosystem integrates individual components, simplifying the installation and removal of vehicle equipment and bringing greater agility and efficiency to the police force."
The concept car is currently being shown to police forces around Australia, who may be interested in adopting the system.