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 ")

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.

PredPol Predicting Crime As It Happens
'All day long the idiots babbled...'- Philip K. Dick, 1956.

CUPID Intercept Drone Like Niven's Copseye
'Copseyes floated overhead... each a sonic stunner... they were there to enforce the law...'- Larry Niven, 1972

 

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

Vacation
I'll be back next week...

Origami Robot Finally Self-Assembles, Walks On Its Own
Now shipping flat, but better than Ikea, because self-assembling.

A.L.O. Robot Butler Serves You At Aloft Hotel
'Her idea of what a butler-valet combo should look like...'

Mometum Machines Burgerbot
'One of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus...'

Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'

No Cages In Future Zoos Is Zootopia?
'The park... twisted through specimens from every inhabited planet of the known universe.'

Navdy HeadUp Display (HUD) For Your Car
'All displays are thrown on a mirror in front of you...'

Computer 'Aesop' Writes Fables With A Moral
'I handed Tony the master tape and he played it into the IBM'

Artificial Wombs - Ectogenesis Technology - Is On The Way
'Magnificent, aren't they? (Lama Su, in Star Wars II)

Robotic Exoskeleton For Shipyard Workers
'Earth's scientists solved the problem... devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'

Timeful Appointment App Learns, Optimizes Your Routines
'The [Daily Schedule program] suited its tone to his movements and the combined analysis of his psychophysical condition.'

3D Printing Your Science-Fictional Metals
I love science-fictional materials!

Bespoke Clothing In 30 Minutes
'He sat himself down in a sales cubicle and dialed the code number for kilts.'

Low Cost Spray-On Solar Cells
'It turns sunlight into electricity... you spray it on.'

Survival Seed Vault Low Cost Life Bank
'They existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant...'

PoseiDrone Tentacled Undersea Robot Like HG Wells'
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine...'

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.