Ford has been granted a patent for intelligent, autonomous police cars. The announcement is the first of its calibur, bringing autonomy out of civilian use, and into the First Responder industry.
According to the patent, the autonomous police car could identify a vehicle violating a given traffic law and establish wireless communication with the driver. Once the identity is verified, the the police vehicle can issue either a warning or a ticket, depending on the severity of the violation. The technology can also begin the pursuit of a vehicle and notify surrounding officers.
It is possible that Ford applied for the patent to remove the possibility of competition, but the idea of AI Police cars has drawn a bit of controversy around the web. Critics are quick to down the idea of robotic police vehicles, citing the legal issues associated with other AI devices like speed and red light cameras.
Only time will tell how Ford will choose to use this new technology to its advantage, or it’s competitor’s disadvantage. While it’s not abnormal for companies to load up on patents, Ford has been making a large push towards autonomy, and this could be a logical next step.