We’ve seen it on TV plenty of times. A car going over 90 MPH zigzags between confused vehicles on the freeway. A helicopter and a squad of police cars are in hot pursuit. The fleeing car crosses the median, going the opposite direction of traffic, trying desperately to escape the police. The chase only ends when the car spins out of control and slams into a truck that’s stopped at a red light. This isn’t fiction; it happens all the time in real life and it is responsible for about an average of one death a day and over 55,000 injuries each year.
But all of that could change very soon. A company called StarChase has been working with over 50 different police agencies and has developed an alternative way to combat high-speed criminals. Their solution implements the use of a GPS launcher built right into the front of the police car that uses compressed air to fire a different kind of “bullet” at the criminal’s vehicle: a GPS tracker.
It’s reminiscent of a gadget James Bond might have in one of his fancy cars, or something Batman might stock in the Batmobile. The projectiles stick to the fleeing car and the police can back off and track the criminals from a safe distance. Since the perpetrators won’t be pressured by lights and sirens in their rear view mirror, they slow down and drive much more safely.
This technology is even further enhanced with the option of activating the launchers with the touch of a key fob. This means that in the instances where a car will get pulled over and wait for the police officer to get out of his or her car before taking off at high speed, the officer doesn’t have to panic. He or she can merely push a button on the key fob and the GPS bullet will fire remotely.
There are already trials underway in Milwaukee to test the effectiveness of the high-tech bullet, and so far the stats are looking great. Milwaukee expects that the projectiles will stick about 75% of the time after training, and when they do stick, the StarChase website claims an apprehension rate of over 80% and has already led to $15 million in seizures.
Each unit costs about $5,000, but the amount of lives that could be saved by a proper implementation of this technology is worth much more. After all, the number one cause of death for police officers in the United States is car crashes.
Watch the video above for a demonstration on how this new technology will help prevent high-speed police chases.