A quick google search of the phrases “Stolen Ambulance” and “Stolen Police Car” demonstrates the unfortunate trend for emergency vehicles. A few weeks ago, the footage was released from a police pursuit that resulted in not one but two stolen police cars.
Traditionally, pursuing and being able to stop a stolen emergency vehicle usually results in extensive damage. These particular scenarios pose a great deal of risk in not only the safety and well-being of others but the extensive damages that occur from unauthorized use of heavily equipped, costly emergency vehicles. Furthermore, police vehicles are often designed to operate after having sustained damage, further complicating a recovery process.
Thus, Ford is seeking a patent to a much-needed system that aims to “perform a controlled stop, locking access points of the emergency vehicle, closing windows of the emergency vehicle, and locking a weapon within the emergency vehicle.”
ABOUT THE PATENT APPLICATION
This week, a Ford patent application was published regarding a method of disabling and securing a police vehicle upon unauthorized use. The patent application discloses a method of automatically securing and stopping a police vehicle when unauthorized use is detected.
Put simply, the method relates to a way to control the throttle, locks, and windows on a police vehicle once unauthorized use has been detected to safely bring the vehicle to a stop.
WHAT THE INVENTION WOULD DO
Once unauthorized use of the vehicle has been detected, a vehicle can be configured to secure and stop the vehicle in many different ways. Activation methods include the automatic detection of unauthorized vehicle use and the remote engagement of the system. Once engaged, there is now the ability for the vehicle to be stopped and secured in a variety of ways. The vehicle’s stopping can be executed through the disengagement of the throttle and engagement of the brakes to correspond to a predetermined deceleration parameter. The way that the vehicle is secured is very much specifically designed for police vehicles; not only are the doors locked and the windows closed, but there is a specific provision for preventing access to weapons within the vehicle. Essentially what this boils down to is once the unauthorized use is determined by the vehicle everything shuts down and locks up, rendering the vehicle unusable in a safe manner while preventing the unauthorized user from escaping.
WHY THIS PATENT IS INTERESTING
Police and emergency vehicles are clearly different from what consumers can drive off the lot, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out just how different these types of vehicles really are. While it’s an unfortunate reality, police vehicles do occasionally get stolen. This method enables a way for emergency services to ensure that if one of their vehicles is stolen it can be rendered useless in a safe manner. Hopefully as this method is implemented and the unavoidable happens and a police vehicle is eventually stolen this system can bring the pursuit to a stop quickly and safely.
Written by John DeStefano, Technical Advisor
and Lauren Hawksworth, Marketing Administrator
May 27, 2021