Ford is planning to manufacture a cop car without an actual cop in it. According to the patent application, it’s “in lieu of or in addition to human police officers.” Last week, the auto manufacturer received this patent. As described by Ford, this police car would be a rear-engine hatchback with five-spoke wheels.
According to the application submitted for patenting, the car would be capable of “routine police tasks, such as issuing tickets for speeding or failure to stop at a stop sign.” These tasks “can be automated so that police officers can perform tasks that cannot be automated.” The car wouldn’t just be autonomously driven, but there would be scenarios wherein the police officers would be in the autonomous car. In cases where the vehicle might respond and pull over a vehicle, the police officers might need to intervene if they suspect that the driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The autonomous car would also be capable of communicating with other devices and motorists.
“While autonomous vehicles can and will be programmed to obey traffic laws, a human driver can override that programming to control and operate the vehicle at any time,” Ford said. “When a vehicle is under the control of a human driver, there is a possibility of violation of traffic laws. Thus, there will still be a need to police traffic.”
The patent application was filed in July of 2016, and it is based on an artificial intelligence which is still under-developed. The AI will also be able to determine when and if an offence has taken place and can also take various actions. In case of a minor breach, it may pass on the case to the local speed camera or generate a ticket directly to the offending smart vehicle. The vehicle will also be able to flick on the emergency lights and start pursuit of the lawbreaker.
“We submit patents on innovative ideas as a normal course of business,” a Ford spokesman told Geek in an email. “Patent applications are intended to protect new ideas, but aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.”