Police test hi-tech zapper that could end car chases

nickg

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See below.............


Monday July 12, 2004
The Guardian

A hi-tech device that can bring speeding cars to a halt at the flick of a switch is set to become the latest weapon in the fight against crime.
Police forces in Britain and the US have ordered tests of the new system that delivers a blast of radio waves powerful enough to knock out vital engine electronics, making the targeted vehicle stall and slowly come to a stop.

David Giri, who left his position as a physics professor at the University of California in Berkeley to set up a company called ProTech, is developing a radio wave vehicle-stopping system for the US marine corps and the Los Angeles police department.

Tomorrow, at the Euroem 2004 science conference in Germany, Dr Giri will describe recent trials of the device. The tests proved that the system could stop vehicles from up to 50 metres away.

The bulk of the device is designed to fit in a car boot and consists of a battery and a bank of capacitors that can store an electrical charge. Flicking a switch on the dashboard sends a burst of electricity into an antenna mounted on the roof of the car. The antenna then produces a narrow beam of intense radio waves that is directed at the vehicle ahead.

When the radio waves hit the targeted car, they induce surges of electricity in its electronics, upsetting the fuel injection and engine firing signals. "It works on most cars built in the past 10 years, because their engines are controlled by computer chips," said Dr Giri. "If we can disrupt the computer, we can stop the car." A prototype is due to be ready by next summer
 

Tan

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Why will these radio waves not effect the Police cars aswell and surely knocking out the electronics is very dangerous especially the braking systems and power steering.
 

nickmann

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Dunno why it wouldn't affect the Feds' cars too, may be it could be directional?

As for it being dangerous surely that's a bonus. The policy would have to wait until a nice safe stretch of road, and instead of watching the perp gunning it away at high speed in his stolen car, pockets full of pills/syringes/guns etc they just press a button and watch him crash into a tree. Probably cause a bit more paperwork than a fair trial but at least they won't have to send them on holiday to the Red Sea when found guilty!

At least they get to control where the crash happens, rather then having to watch some muppet trying to escape for miles and miles. Sure beats the Yanks' method of "wait for a clear stretch then nerf into them".
 

Tan

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nickmann said:
Dunno why it wouldn't affect the Feds' cars too, may be it could be directional?

As for it being dangerous surely that's a bonus. The policy would have to wait until a nice safe stretch of road, and instead of watching the perp gunning it away at high speed in his stolen car, pockets full of pills/syringes/guns etc they just press a button and watch him crash into a tree. Probably cause a bit more paperwork than a fair trial but at least they won't have to send them on holiday to the Red Sea when found guilty!

At least they get to control where the crash happens, rather then having to watch some muppet trying to escape for miles and miles. Sure beats the Yanks' method of "wait for a clear stretch then nerf into them".

But knowing the Police it would be far easier or more lucrative to use this on motorists than hardened criminals...so lives could be lost unnecessarily
 

nickmann

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Tan said:
But knowing the Police it would be far easier or more lucrative to use this on motorists than hardened criminals...so lives could be lost unnecessarily

Oh I dunno - they've had guns for a while, but I doubt even the Daily Mail has managed to find a case of a speeder being shot :)

If you have the blues and twos behind you, then you either stop or you don't. If you don't then why shouldn't they zap you? I'm sure most feds would rather do that than chase you which puts others at risk.

The biggest advantage would be to end those crappy Police Chase TV 'programs' and free up some primetime slots for proper Saturday TV like The A Team and Baywatch.
 

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What happens when they try it on a motorcycle... the usual laws of physics apply e.g. no forward motion and you fall of under the wheels of the following Plod mobile. You could always encase your ECU in copper strip making a Faraday cage , that should bugger the zapper up.
 

miro

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nickg said:
See below.............


Monday July 12, 2004
The Guardian

A hi-tech device that can bring speeding cars to a halt at the flick of a switch is set to become the latest weapon in the fight against crime.
Police forces in Britain and the US have ordered tests of the new system that delivers a blast of radio waves powerful enough to knock out vital engine electronics, making the targeted vehicle stall and slowly come to a stop.

Oh please, the high tech tag is making my sides hurt with laughter. I saw the same thing done to a new car from 30 metres using nothing more than an ignition coil, truck battery, tv aerial and a spark plug. This russian spy gave a demonstration of how such a device can be made from parts in a junk yard.

He pointed out that it works rather well on traffic signals, aeroplanes and level crossings or railway infrastructure.

In other words, it only takes 45 minutes to build a device that can cripple an entire city. HIGH TECH !............. :rolleyes:

The bloomin thing is nothing more than a high powered pulse of EMR which overcomes normal chips by EMP conversion to electrical current.
 

miro

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Pietre said:
What happens when they try it on a motorcycle... the usual laws of physics apply e.g. no forward motion and you fall of under the wheels of the following Plod mobile. You could always encase your ECU in copper strip making a Faraday cage , that should bugger the zapper up.

Most people dont realise that the W203 has this precise defect. I found out the hard way whilst driving along only to have my gearbox and brakes activate randomly, instrument cluster light up like mad and my radio amp blow a coil (very annoying). It was caused by a draw bridge motor giving out excessive EMR whilst in operation.
 

DITTRICH

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I doubt such a device could be made "directional". If they press the "zap" button then guess what happens to all the other cars (on the motoway). Also (not that I know much about electronics) what about older cars that don't have an ecu. I'm not sure that the new device would be effective on such a car. Maybe one day mr plod may be able to "control" the ecu in a car being chased by issuing commands to it, but not yet. I think the Matrix films adequately demonstrate what a nice dose of EMP does to delicate electronics.
Rgds
Les
 

ctrips

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DITTRICH said:
I doubt such a device could be made "directional". If they press the "zap" button then guess what happens to all the other cars (on the motoway). Also (not that I know much about electronics) what about older cars that don't have an ecu. I'm not sure that the new device would be effective on such a car. Maybe one day mr plod may be able to "control" the ecu in a car being chased by issuing commands to it, but not yet. I think the Matrix films adequately demonstrate what a nice dose of EMP does to delicate electronics.
Rgds
Les

So does Broken Arrow, with John Travolta!
 

Shude

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ctrips said:
So does Broken Arrow, with John Travolta!
Goldeneye? :)
Escape From L.A. too
 
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