Here’s an “innovation” we hope will remain a design concept: the Scarab Chase Assistant is an electric semi-autonomous police vehicle. When a speeder zips by, a cop electronically tags that car with radar, and then sends the Scarab scurrying after it. What does this little RoboCop do when it catches up to the speeder?
Well, it doesn’t bark out, “Put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply.” When this technology first rolls out, it will merely attempt to peacefully convince suspects to pull over to the side of the road the way a normal cop car would.
Down the road, its designer foresees using electromagnetic pulse or signal jamming equipment that could force a fleeing vehicle to stop. Or hey, the cop-bot could just use GM’s OnStar system that can remotely stop a vehicle now.
The purpose of this concept is to save the lives of innocent bystanders and cops in high-speed chases, but this seems to miss the mark. There will still be two vehicles involved in a high-speed chase, with the suspect driving faster and faster to avoid capture.
Besides, police already have a faster weapon at their disposal: it’s called a radio, letting them call ahead at the speed of light to other cops who can apprehend the fleeing miscreant. And who says this semi-autonomous vehicle won’t make any mistakes?
Let’s just hope the next version doesn’t involve machine guns, autonomous lethal weaponry and such. Scarab? They ought to just call it Scary.