We all loath police officers who lurk in the shadows, speed cameras at-the-ready, just waiting to catch us in the act of speeding. But, at least, all of them are human police officers, which means that, when push comes to shove, you may just reach a verbal agreement of some sort with them to let you off easy.
But what if a robotic police-something were lurking in the shadows instead of humans? Not a robot per se, but an autonomous car, one that hides on its own, can measure your speed and even can even communicate with other speed cameras in the area?
Apparently, American manufacturer Ford recently submitted a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) just for that: an Autonomous Police Vehicle. And catching speedsters will not be the only thing it will be able to do.
According to the patent application, the Autonomous Police Car will work something like this: the vehicle will “obtain an indication of violation of one or more traffic laws by a first vehicle.” The car will the be able to “pursue” that first vehicle (we are a bit unsure of what “first” vehicle represents).
During the chase, the police car will issue warnings to the pursued vehicle, will identify the owner of the car and will issue fines or warnings.
The goal of Ford’s endeavor is to automate “routine police tasks, such as issuing tickets for speeding or failure to stop at a stop sign.” Ford’s Autonomous Police Vehicle “can, on behalf of human police officers, perform automated tasks such as enforcing traffic laws.”
The patent application was filed on July 12, 2016, and has been published on January 18, 2018, and it lists four inventors and Ford Global Technologies as the applicant. It’s not clear how far Ford got by now in developing this technology.