The crime-fighting police car of the future

Vodacom and Samsung recently showed off their police car of the future at the Free State ICT Summit 2015 in Bloemfontein.

The car is equipped with an array of technology which can be linked to a central control room via an LTE or 3G connection, allowing for real-time monitoring of the car’s occupants and environment around the vehicle.

A Golf GTi was used for the ICT summit, but the technology can be fitted into any police vehicle thanks to its modular design.

The solution will be commercially available early in 2016, and sold to security companies, emergency medical services, cash in transit companies, and other businesses which may need its features.

What tech is it packing?

The police car features a day/night camera capable of sending video, voice, instant messages, and images to the relevant control centre in real time.

Data captured by the hardware will be time-stamped and geo-tagged – meaning officers will be closely scrutinised by commanding officers.

“All data sent between the vehicles and the control centre will also be encrypted, ensuring security. Furthermore, the central control facility will be able to monitor, activate, and deactivate devices remotely,” said Vodacom.

The video cameras will be linked to the Department of Transport and the Department of Home Affairs’ systems, too, which will allow for the automatic monitoring of licence plates and the issuing of infringements with little or no input from the officers.

Outstanding fines and prior infringements will also be linked to the system, allowing for action to be taken against citizens in contravention of the law.

Mobile printers in the vehicle will then print infringement notices with information automatically populated from the wirelessly-linked databases.

Police car specifications
Police car specifications

Police officers monitored

Police officers in the car can also be monitored via smart vests which are linked to the control centre.

The vests are worn under an officer’s uniform and collect information like blood pressure, heart rate, and posture. This information can then be used to determine if an officer is in danger or has been shot.

Help will automatically be sent without the officer having to call for it, thanks to the real-time monitoring.

Vodacom said similar solutions have already been deployed in New Zealand and Italy with great success.

Police car
Police car

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The crime-fighting police car of the future