Ford Patents Autonomous Police Car for Traffic Enforcement

Autonomous police cars are already on the road in certain areas, and Ford has applied for a patent for one. In the future, autonomous police cars would be used to scan for traffic violations.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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UPDATED: Jan 25, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Autonomous vehicles are on the road already in certain areas
  • Ford has applied for a patent for an automated police vehicle
  • The development of an automated police vehicle is several years out

One hundred and twenty years ago, members of society were arguing over whether horseless carriages should be allowed on the streets. Afterall, they were noisy and scared horses.

Frightened horses were liable to rear up and cause thbieir carriages to overturn and the occupants to become injured. Despite the opposition to the motorized vehicle, they became the accepted norm with Ford Motor Company leading the way.

These days, Ford continues to push the limits of the accepted.

What are you paying to insure your “horseless carriage?” Are you getting the best price? When’s the last time you compared your insurance rates with other leading competitors? Today is the day to find lower rates!

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Autonomous Vehicles

No one is arguing in favor of the horse and carriage anymore. Despite the initial protests, technology prevailed.

Much of today’s automotive innovation revolves around autonomous vehicles. They are already being tested on real streets with real people as passengers. Is it even worth arguing about whether it should happen? Are autonomous cars safe?

In another hundred years, the hovercraft, light-speed travelers may very well look back on the hold-outs against autonomous vehicles with a laugh.

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Ford’s Autonomous Police Vehicle Patent

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Ford has recently applied for a patent for an autonomous police car. The patent describes the vehicle as having the ability to execute traffic enforcement so human police officers can be available to deal with matters that cannot be handled by an automated system.

The plans for this vehicle include the following abilities:

  • scan for traffic violations
  • receive communication from other sensors or cameras concerning traffic violations
  • communicate with the driver of the offending vehicle
  • decide if the offender should be issued a warning or a citation
  • issue a citation

The patent also explains that the vehicle may be overridden by a human officer at any time.

Potential for Resistance

Red light cameras have been implemented in many metropolitan areas. Some states and cities have succeeded in standing up against what they believe is an invasion of their rights.

Other cities are raking in cash generated through the use of traffic cameras despite a general public disdain for the practice.

Public outcry to automated police vehicles has potential to be great, but before heading out and protesting at your local courthouse, keep in mind what has actually happened.

Ford has applied for a patent. They may work toward building this vehicle or they may scrap the idea completely. Automated police cars are not going to be implemented in the next several years, at least.

How many years until a car is fully autonomous? It’s premature to conjecture how soon or even if automated police cars are the traffic enforcers of the future, but it is possible.

Regardless of the “what ifs” of the future, the reality today is that you need insurance to drive a car or you will be in trouble with a human police officer.

Compare car insurance quotes right here by entering your zip code below.

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