Cop cars getting smarter too

It might not exactly be KITT from Knight Rider, but the new high-tech police car on display in Melbourne will make the GPS devices and Bluetooth adapters proliferating in consumer automobiles look positively humble.

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It might not exactly be KITT from Knight Rider, but the new high-tech police car on display in Melbourne will make the GPS devices and Bluetooth adaptors proliferating in consumer automobiles look positively humble.

Billed as the world's most technically advanced police car, the vehicle not only has GPS onboard, but integrated front and rear video cameras that facilitate facial and number plate recognition. Police will be able to scan thousands of number plates in a shift using infrared technology, then obtain real-time information on vehicles, drivers or crime scenes through the car's touchscreen panel.

The prototype has been developed by Australia's National Safety Agency (NSA), General Motors, Motorola and Monash University in consultation with the Victorian Police Force as well as other Australian police and emergency services.

The new-age squad car will be on display at SmartDemo 2007, a showcase of the latest transport technologies to be held at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds on August 14-15. Also on exhibit will be a car that parks itself, a system to help commuters find the least congested route, and safety devices that monitor driver fatigue and blind spots. For more info see the SmartDemo 2007 website.

cop tech

With real time licence plate recognition, you'll be identified well before being pulled over.

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