Criminals beware! Cop car of the future is here

Bloemfontein - Criminals beware! The next-generation police car has arrived and its technology could land you behind bars.

The car, a joint project by Vodacom and Samsung, is on exhibit at the Free State ICT Summit 2015 in Bloemfontein, which ends on Friday.

Part of the technology makes it possible to read number plates and compare the relevant vehicle to information on a central database.

This can be linked to outstanding traffic tickets and warrants of vehicle theft.

There is a camera, mounted on the rear view mirror, which is connected to a powerful tablet. Traffic tickets can be issued on the spot through an integrated printer.

The camera reads the number plates of oncoming vehicles as well as those travelling in the same direction as the police officer. It communicates the information to the database without any input from the official.

The clever car can also make video and sound recordings and take photographs on the scene of a crime.

These can be sent to a central control room, which will be connected to the vehicle by Vodacom’s LTE and 3G technology and a high-speed fibre optic network.

A related piece of technology is a clever cellphone application, which will digitalise detective work.

The technology need not be limited to police vehicles, but can also be used in security or traffic department cars.

The car on exhibit is a Golf GTi, but the technology can be fitted to any car.

Another aspect of the smart technology is a special police vest that can also be linked to the central control room.

It monitors the wearer's blood pressure and heart rate and can determine if an officer is in a dangerous situation or has been shot. Help will automatically be sent without the officer having to call for it.

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