Smugglers beware! Z Portal guards Mexi-Cali border

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Customs Border Patrol agents manning the crossing at San Ysidro in California, probably one of the busiest land border checkpoints in the world, have most of their work cut out for them. A drive-through x-ray machine, called the “Z Portal”, was unveiled there last week. Looking like a huge carwash, the machine will help uncover contraband, as well as stowaways being smuggled into the U.S.

Manual searches are time-consuming, even with the help of dogs to do the job. The Z Portal at the US – Mexican border in San Ysidro does it fast and thorough with the use of Z backscatter x-ray imaging developed by American Science and Engineering, Inc (AS&E). The technology can even detect plastic weapons and explosives by providing multiple views of photo-like x-ray images.

Border patrol agents have apparently taken a liking to the new technology as they claim it has already helped them seize a total of 3,000 pounds of drugs since its introduction. With safety issues arising from the use of the device, the driver and passengers can opt to have an agent drive their vehicle through the Z Portal for scanning. Furthermore, radiation emitted by the device is just a tiny fraction of what medical-grade x-rays actually produce – around 2,000 times less.


Wow, Ford didn’t put in an electronic ignition interlock until now?Chevy pioneered this with the Corvette in 1984! It’s been on even lower-end GM cars for over 5 years now. I guess price competition is murder in the truck market? To have to leave off $10 worth of theft prevention?

Haha, this is cool. Now law breakers and drug pushers have no escape with this mean machine.

Well that is good news and a lot safer for the border guards. If they can use it to determine the contents of a car, there might be less illegal immigrants and there might be less smugglers.

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