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Dodge's latest police car uses radar, sensors to prevent ambushes

Extra situational awareness is always a good idea.

Police cars are as old as cars themselves, but they're always relying on new technology to improve. Dodge's latest update should give police officers an additional sense of safety.

Effective immediately, all 2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit sedans will come equipped with the Officer Protection Package. It uses the car's backup camera and sensors to determine if someone is sneaking around the back of the car. It can prevent an ambush or just let an officer know someone is approaching the vehicle.

Making new use of standard equipment.


It's an excellent use of civilian technology for an alternate purpose. Backup cameras and rear parking sensors are both important systems in modern cars, and if Dodge can take a car already equipped with these systems and use them for something new, it provides benefits without the drawback of extra development costs.

All a department needs to do is add a separate module, which plugs into the OBDII diagnostics port under the dashboard. From there, hitting a single button activates the system. Whenever the system is activated, the backup sensors will be on, and whenever something crosses behind the car, a chime will sound inside the car as the doors lock and the windows roll up.

While it's available immediately for 2017 Charger Pursuit orders, it doesn't appear that it will be retroactively applied to outstanding orders.

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