Ford Files Patent for Autonomous Police Car That Can Remotely Issue Tickets

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【Summary】Ford recently filed a patent for a self-driving police vehicle that can remotely enter into a chase and issue tickets to speeders, which sounds like a driver's worst nightmare.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 03, 2018 11:00 AM PT
Ford Files Patent for Autonomous Police Car That Can Remotely Issue Tickets

Automakers and tech companies are pushing an autonomous future as being good for the majority of drivers. Instead of having to deal with stop-and-go traffic, you'll be able to zone out, watch a movie, text, eat, or anything else. At the moment, that makes it sound like self-driving vehicles will be an amazing thing. 

Autonomous Police Cars Are Coming

While that might be the case, Ford has other plans for driverless machines and that includes an autonomous police vehicle. It's no secret that Ford provides police departments across the U.S. with heavy-duty vehicles for police duty, but the American automaker is looking to change that in the future. 

According to a recent patent that the automaker filed, it's going to make vehicles that can operate with or without a police officer behind the wheel. While the idea of an autonomous vehicle with police lights, badges, and equipment sounds like a horrific thing, Ford doesn't look like it's too serious about the machine, as the proposed vehicle is a hatchback that looks like it's been hand-drawn by someone in a hurry. 

While the hilarious drawing of the vehicle will bring some ease, the idea behind the machine is still incredibly scary. The patent outlines a vehicle that can not only drive itself, but utilizes high-tech artificial intelligence, which we should point out hasn't been developed yet, that allows it to do all sorts of police-related activities. 

High-Tech Artificial Intelligence For Smarter Autonomy

The AI system inside the autonomous vehicles helps operate various on-board equipment that aids real-life police officers nab speeders, including cameras. The artificial intelligence system will also help the vehicle communication with devices outside of the vehicle, like speed cameras. The scariest thing, though, is that the vehicle can find a devious place to hide to help catch even more speeders. 

Once the police car detects a vehicle that's traveling down the road too quickly, it can enter into a pursuit on its own and use all of its available software and hardware to confirm the vehicle's speed. When the pursuit is complete, the autonomous cop car can wirelessly connect to the assailant's car and issue a citation or ticket. Your car better be nice to the autonomous cop vehicle, because it's AI system can determine whether you get a ticket or just a warning. 

While hearing about a driverless police vehicle that can issue tickets and chase speeders on its own is terrifying, we had a feeling that it was coming. We do have some questions and concerns about the vehicle, though. 

For one, smart traffic lights and speed cameras are already on the road, but those, as a lot of drivers can attest to, aren't exactly 100 percent accurate. And how would the vehicle decide between giving out warnings and actual tickets? 

It's highly unlikely that Ford will be putting an autonomous policy vehicle on the road any time soon, as the patent is probably the automaker's way of revealing what it has in store for the future. If you were excited about an autonomous future, it's time to get a little scared for one, too. 

via: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

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