US: Ford’s Interceptor technology can monitor the police image

What happens when policemen abuse their prerogatives and speed their chase cars, or run red lights and use sirens when they’re not on a chase? They get caught if they’re in a Ford patrol vehicle.

Ford is currently developing new safety features that allow the police agencies track in real time the driving habits of their officers – they could instantly see how fast they’re driving, when the lights are turned, if they wear seatbelts and other useful information about their usual driving patterns.

The Dearborn-based automaker has partnered with Californian technology company Telogis and has already debuted this week the new telematics features on its Ford Police Interceptor vehicles – hoping to support a higher level of safety and police transparency. The agencies could use the data for minor infractions performed by the officers and more importantly in finding if they are to blame in case of an accident.

Bill Frykman, Ford’s manager of business and product development, said in a statement that “vehicle accidents are the leading cause of officer fatalities, and the vehicle data from this technology will help police organizations” implement changes to their policies that could have a big impact on the officer safety levels.

According to a Telogis spokeswoman, the new feature is already being rolled out by the Los Angeles Police Department on its vehicles and it would be further available to other agencies starting with early 2015.