Tech Helps Cops Bust Motorists
Several new technologies are being developed to help police officers quickly gather information on vehicles located near their squad cars. One such technology is Motorola and PIPS Technology’s Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) system, which was launched on Dec. 1. The technology uses a camera to automatically read license plates as they come into view, and then checks the plates against police and motor vehicle databases.
The system is quicker than the current system, in which officers manually type in a license number to search databases, said Steve Most, multimedia business director for Motorola’s radio systems division. In its first week of testing in October, ALPR helped the Pennsylvania State Police apprehend wanted suspects, including suspects wanted in connection with a kidnapping and attempted murder case.
Meanwhile, technology giant 3M plans to launch a system later this month that incorporates Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in stickers that would go on a vehicle’s windshield as well as in reflective sheeting placed over the license plate.
As vehicles drive past sensors, the 3M tags would send vehicle registration information to a database, which could eventually allow law enforcement officials to detect stolen vehicles.
Finally, automakers are testing a technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), a Wi-Fi system for cars that could one day be used for law enforcement. Several auto manufacturers, including DaimlerChrysler, have said the information will be completely anonymous and will not help anyone track specific vehicles.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Red Herring (12/01/05) .