The power of GPS tracking is being teamed up with a tool that Iron Man would be proud to carry in his arsenal to give police officers a new method of ending high-speed car chases.
The aptly named StarChase device allows officers to fire a GPS tracking “bullet” from the front of their squad cars that attaches to the rear of a fleeing vehicle. These GPS tracking bullets are fired by a compressed air gun, which can be used to track a vehicle from a remote location.
For now, the technology is being tested by state troopers in Iowa and police officers in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Officers control the GPS tracking bullets from inside of their squad car. When deemed necessary, the officer presses a button that opens the grill of the car, and the compressed gun fires a sticky GPS bullet directly ahead. The bullet is supposed to cling onto the back of a fleeting vehicle, thus allowing the officer to track its maneuvers from a computer.
The idea being that suspects will slow down so as to not arouse any further suspicion once they believe they have evaded the police.
According to StarChase, there are more than 100,000 high-speed pursuits in the United States every year, endangering everyone involved in the chase – including the suspects, police and bystanders. And approximately 85 percent of these pursuits are initiated by non-violent offenders.
StarChase technology will undoubtedly assist police and state troopers in high-speed pursuits. However, there have been a few visible drawbacks. For one, the system costs $5,000 to install in just one vehicle. Beyond that, each bullet is only good for a one-time use and priced at $500, and demonstrations have shown that only one out of every four bullets fired at a parked vehicle actually stuck on.