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 ")

iBubble Scuba Drone Follower
'Hovered behind him like a large tame bee...' - Karen Traviss, 2004.

'Eye In The Sky' Movie Borrows 35, 80 Year-Old SF
SF writers don't have a problem seeing decades into the future.

Voice-Recognition Door DIY
'Almost all our locks are phonographic.' - Clement Fezandie, 1921.

The Eye Is Watching! Samsung Gear 360 Camera
'It scooped up the eye that had been witnessing its activities.' - Robert Silverberg, 1969.

 

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

City Made Of Bone
'The cheapest building material known...'

SpotMini Robot Pierson's Puppeteer-Style
Now they're kind of cute, right?

Brick By Brick, Building Martian Bases
Don't try to boost everything from the surface of the Earth.

Elon Musk et. al. OpenAI Household Robot
'Any work a human being does around a house.'

BRUISE Smart Injury Detection Suit
'... Bee could see that three of them were disabled and two of them damaged.'

Tesla Model S Is Also A Boat (Sort Of)
'This Dick Dare contraption of yours...'

Promobot, The Runaway Russian Robot!
'Got yourself a runaway, Jack?'

Rowbot Small Autonomous Farm Robot
'...The tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'

Amazon's Alexa To Recognize Emotions
Oh, Hal understood their emotions, all right.

Cool 'Single-Person Spaceships' Have Better SF Name
'A cabin so small, you couldn't stand up with the air lock closed..'

First Robot Suicide Has Science Fiction Roots
'What had happened to prevent my death?'

First US Clinical Trial For Wearable Artificial Kidney
'Wholly mechanical organs...'

Open Bionics To Produce Deus Ex Prosthetic Designs
Be a part of a science fictional future.

Human-Carrying Drone Taxi 184 Approved For Test Flights
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble...'

Skating On Mars' Frozen Pools
'They went down, put on their skates, and started.'

Google Working On A 'Cutoff Switch' For AI
'A remote control, so you can pull the plug on Hal whenever you want to.'

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.