GM OnStar Will Soon Let Police Stop Your Car

General Motors plans to equip 1.7 million of its 2009 models with a system that allows OnStar operators to cut engine power in the car if the police request it. The system was demonstrated in Washington, D.C. today.


(General Motors OnStar technology)

GM's OnStar system already contains built-in GPS tracking that would allow police to find any OnStar-equipped vehicle. With the new technology, if the police request it, an OnStar operator will inform the occupants of the vehicle and then cut power. The engine will be slowed to idle speed, to allow the driver to move to the side of the road. Brakes and other electrical functions of the vehicle will still work.

The intent of the system is to cut down on the number of police chases, which can be dangerous for both bystanders and police. A recent study showed that from 1994 through 2002, there were 2,654 crashes involving 3,965 vehicles and 3,146 fatalities during police pursuits.

The idea for this capability was showcased recently in science fiction author Greg Bear's book Quantico. In the novel, a near-future story about biotech and the war on terror, police could use Cop Block to stop a car or truck in its tracks.

"...When the truck's driver ignored his lights and siren and the trucks failed to respond to Cop Block, the patrolman became aware he might have a situation..."

All cars and trucks in the U.S. were now required to have Cop Block. A patrol car could radio a coded signal that slowed and then shut down the engine.
(Read more about Cop Block)

GM also stated that the owner of the vehicle may opt out of the service upon request. GM's research has indicated that 95% of current OnStar subscribers would like to participate.

Update 20-Oct-2009: Keith Laumer used an earlier version of this idea in his 1965 novel A Plague of Demons; see the entry for police control-override. End update.

Take a look at other initiatives to make the roads safer, like the prototype car seat and Nissan Pivo 2 concept car, which try to detect drivers sleeping behind the wheel. Read an interview with Greg Bear about Quantico. Story via ABC News.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/10/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

AirDog Auto-Follow Drone Captures Your Awesomeness
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...' -Karen Traviss, 2004.

Google's Project Wing Will Find You
'Mechanical entities that flit at the edges of our vision, that can go anywhere, that are in our very midst...' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.

CV Dazzle Anti-Surveillance Make-Up
'Let's hear it for the vague blur!'- Philip K. Dick, 1977.

Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'- Greg Bear, 2007.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty
'Well, isn't that quaint!'

Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
Automating lip reading.

MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'

Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.

Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'

Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'

Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'

Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

The Amazing Gravity-Assisted Journey Of Rosetta
'...We used the [moon's] attraction to give us additional starting speed'

AirDog Auto-Follow Drone Captures Your Awesomeness
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...'

Dell's Venue 8 7000 Tablet With RealSense Depth-Mapping
Focus on any part of a picture later.

Google's Cartographer Backpack For Indoor Mapping
'He reached to unsnap the cartograph from his belt.'

T-Mobile Sues Huawei Over Button Pushing Robot Idea From The 1930's
'Not the slightest change in their working betrayed the fact that they were now being directed by a machine instead of human beings.'

Hayabusa-2 Asteroid Cannon Strategy From 1950's SF Novel
'Fire streaked in a thin line from the muzzle of a cannon-like tube...'

Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum Cleaner
'It vacuum-cleaned... or polished, consulting tapes in its idiot memory to decide which.'

First 3D Printer In Space?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.