RF Safe-Stop Shuts Cars Off

E2V in the UK has developed a quick way to stop cars. They call it RF Safe-Stop.


(RF Safe-Stop makes cars stop)

Dubbed RF Safe-Stop, the unit, which weighs approximately 350kg, has so far been integrated into Nissan Nevara and Toyota Land Cruisers and is designed to temporarily disable a vehicle’s electronic systems and bring it to a halt. Such non-lethal systems are said to be particularly suited to stopping vehicles suspected as being used as car bombs.

Andy Wood, product manager at e2v, told The Engineer that RF Safe-Stop can be fitted also into ground, fixed base installations, rib-type boats and that there are ‘blueprint’ ideas to integrate it into a helicopter.

The electromagnetic blast travels through the wiring loom as a series of pulses, arriving at the vehicle’s engine management system or immobiliser to halt it.

‘Basically the ECU (engine control unit) or immobiliser…once affected, will try and reset. As long as you keep it ‘confused’ the engine won’t restart.’

SF writers have had similar ideas for the past two generations. In Keith Laumer's 1965 book A Plague of Demons, he writes about a police control-override that lets law enforcement bring a fleeing vehicle to a halt.

I nudged the car into motion, steering between the two wide-shouldered, lean-hipped trouble boys. One whipped out a three-inch black disc - a police control-override. A red light blinked on the dash; the car faltered as the external command came to brake.

I gunned it hard, felt the accelerator jam...
(Read more about Laumer's police control-override)

Greg Bear thought about something similar - he called it "cop block" from his 2007 novel Quantico (follow the link for Bear's comments on this idea).

From The Engineer via Ars Technica.

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