It sounds like something straight out of Batman or James Bond’s arsenal, but police officers in St Petersburg, Florida, are testing a vehicle-based cannon that fires GPS tracking devices at cars. The idea is that instead of continuing a dangerous high-speed pursuit, they’d just tag a vehicle they’re chasing and then track its location from a safe distance.
The system, known as Starchase, features an air cannon mounted to the front grill of a police car that fires GPS tracking units covered in a soft adhesive substance so they immediately stick to their target. Once a pursued vehicle has been tagged, the police can stop their high-speed chase and fall back to a safe distance without losing tabs on the car. It also means the driver being pursued will slow down if they think they’ve lost the police.
All around it’s a safer alternative to car chases, even if initially it requires a police car to get close enough to a suspect to target them for tracking. And while it does mean there’s a greater chance of the vehicle in question being ditched and the driver escaping on foot, if it help prevents even a single deadly accident there’s no reason every police department shouldn’t consider this technology. [YouTube via Cnet]