Voice Recognition, Smart Software Transform Police Cruiser
Project 54 is a voice recognition program that was developed by University of New Hampshire engineers, and is now used in about 75 police cruisers throughout New Hampshire.
The project began in 1999 when a UNH engineer accompanied a state police officer on patrols and discovered that officers need to do a variety of things in the cruiser while driving and pursuing a suspect.
Project 54 outfits smart cruisers with a global positioning system, voice-recognition programs that help the officer communicate with stations without using the traditional computer or radio, and radio channel controls on the wheel instead of in the dash.
Installing computers into squad cars was a significant improvement in how officers effectively transmitted and received vital information, but the device required officers to pull over in order to submit data or questions; now officers can announce information requests which are then transmitted within 8 seconds, displaying the results on the computer screen as well verbally relaying it to the officer.
So far the only alternative the UNH design is a larger system developed by Visteon, called the TACNET system.
TACNET involves installing two computers in the trunk of the cruiser, with the screen mounted on the dash; in order to further assist officers when pursuing vehicles, the system can display information on the windshield, enabling an officer to read it without taking their eyes off the road. The voice-recognition systems have garnered considerable praise from the law enforcement industry, which hopes the technology will further facilitate safe police operations.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Associated Press (10/25/03); Tirrell-Wysocki, David.