Lord Help US - Ford Wants to Put Ticket-Serving Autonomous Police Cars on the Road
The race to develop autonomous driving technology is taking shape in a number of potential applications. For Ford, it’s not enough to have an autonomous car-sharing service or a self-driving car for the masses. The Blue Oval is thinking out of the box with a vision to put the technology into a police car. It may not be on the level of Skynet just yet, but Ford’s idea of a self-driving police car could be the future of law enforcement on the road.
No Room For Error – U.K. Police Chief Wants To Fine Drivers For Going Just 1 MPH Over The Speed Limit
The chief of road policing in Britain just called for a major crackdown on speeders, arguing that even 1 mph over the limit should incur a penalty. However, critics question whether or not such draconian measures will actually make the roads any safer.
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2018 Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan
As the rest of the world looks to hybrid powertrains to help eke out extra mpg at the pump, even law enforcement agencies are getting in on the trend. Adding an extra large battery to a police responder sedan comes with several benefits, all while keeping all the important gear needed to get the job done. Ford’s been providing vehicles to law enforcement since 1950, so it makes sense that the Blue Oval is getting ahead of the game with this electrically assisted four-door. We saw it on the show floor at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and got a nice selection of exclusive photos, so read on for more details on this latest workhorse for the five-o.
Continue reading to learn more about what makes the Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan special.
Check Out What it Looks Like to Ride Shotgun During a Police Chase
When you’re sitting inside a police car, it’s probably better to be in the front seat than in the back. That would mean that you’re sitting shotgun in a joyride or at least, in this case, witnessing what a simulated car chase looks like. Kirk Bell of Motor Authority was able to experience that first-hand when he was invited to the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex in Fort Worth, Texas to get a simulated look at what a car chase looks like from the view of police officers.
Ford Delivers Hybrid Police Car To The Boys In Blue
Ford just revealed its new Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, framed as an efficient means of transport for “police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other non-pursuit law enforcement personnel.” It’s the first-ever plug-in hybrid police vehicle from the Blue Oval, and it comes with the gear to get the job done without burning too much of the dino juice.
2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder
Ford is broadening its already-wide lineup of Special Service Vehicles with a pursuit-rated version of the F-150 pickup. It’s called the F-150 Police Responder, and this F-150 comes standard with the SuperCrew cab and 5.5-foot bed, powered by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that’s backed by Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case. The F-150 Police Responder is designed for both street- and off-road patrolling duty, making it attractive to agencies in rural environments and Federal outfits like the Border Patrol and Department of Natural Resources.
Specialized equipment exclusive to the F-150 Police Responder includes a police-calibrated speedometer, an engine hour and idle-hour meters, a 240-amp alternator for powering onboard police equipment, and “police-calibrated” brakes with upgraded calipers and pads. (Elwood Blues would be proud.) The cabin also boasts improvements, too. The front bucket seats are wrapped in heavy-duty cloth with thin bolsters designed to better accommodate bulky duty belts. Anti-stab plates are fitted within the seats, protecting against knife attacks from behind. Also, the center seat is deleted, leaving the area open for adding aftermarket police consoles. Suspects and perps are relegated to a vinyl bench seat and the entire cab floor is lined with the black vinyl common in base-model trucks – both designed for easy clean-up. Lastly, the Police Responder comes standard with the FX4 package, meaning it has underbody skid plates, upgraded shocks, and all-terrain tires mounted on 18-inch alloy wheels. As equipped, the F-150 Police Responder can tow 7,000 pounds on its Class IV receiver hitch. Expect to see Ford’s latest police vehicle in your rearview mirror by the beginning of 2018.
Continue reading for more on the Ford F-150 Police Responder.
Isle Of Man Deploys BAC Mono Police Car
British-based performance automaker BAC (Briggs Automotive Company) and the Isle of Man Government have joined forces to create the world’s first BAC Mono police car. While the single-seater, formula-style supercar probably won’t be used to detain suspects (strap them to the hood?!), it will “become an active member of the fleet and will also be on show at a number of local festivals to encourage safe and responsible driving.”
BAC has worked with the Isle of Man before, as the automaker previously used the local roads for car development, as well as to host various client driving events. The law enforcement iteration gets a special police livery. Tasked with driving the Mono is PC Andy Greaves, a police motorcyclist and collision investigator with advanced driving skill. “We are here to promote safe use of the road, and it’s amazing how many people want to talk to you when this is your transport,” Greaves said.
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Look Out Perps! Ford Launches Police-Prepped 2018 F-150 & Expedition
Ford is updating its lineup of Special Service Vehicles to include the updated 2018 F-150 and all-new 2018 Expedition. The pair joins the Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan and Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility. Altogether, the foursome provides the widest vehicle array designed for police and government use by any one automaker.
The F-150 and Expedition SSV are fitted with special equipment designed to accommodate aftermarket upfiting with warning lights, communication radios, and laptop stands. The XL trim level brings heavy-duty rubber flooring and vinyl seats for easy clean up. Even the front 40/20/40-split bench is replaced by a 40/blank/40-split bench to accommodate center command consoles – all to make the F-150 and Expedition ready for duty. Furthermore, the gear shifters are column-mounted for more free space down low.
Ford is limiting the drivetrain choices for the F-150, allowing only the revamped 5.0-liter V-8 and the new, second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Both are connected to the new 10-speed automatic transmission. The Expedition is solely powered by the EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic. A 3.73 ratio and limited slip are standard in the Expedition’s rear differential. A high-output 240-amp alternator provides more power than the standard unit, making enough juice to power the bevy of equipment often found in police vehicles.
Police departments and other government agencies can order their vehicles with either RWD or 4WD. The F-150 is available in both SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations, while the Expedition only comes in its standard length.
“While our Police Interceptor Utility remains the best-selling law enforcement vehicle in the country by a large margin, some agencies need to haul five people with higher equipment-carrying capacity, or off-road capabilities are required,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager. “That’s where the F-150 SSV and Expedition SSV come in.”
The F-150 and Expedition SSVs are not pursuit-rated, so don’t expect to see one involved in a high-speed chase, though both the V-8 and EcoBoost should have no trouble hitting triple-digit speeds. The SSV packages should become available in the latter parts of 2017.
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Here’s The Full Story On That Flying Toyota Tacoma
It’s been plastered on Facebook – that video clip of a late-model Toyota Tacoma dodging a police roadblock and ramping up an embankment, grabbing enough hang time to make the Duke Boys proud. Well, we’ve cut through the social media hype and found the original video. This KSLA news report from Webster Parish, Louisiana shows the jump and full aftermath.
The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28. Kevonte Dekorey Austin, an 18-year-old escaped work-release participant was the passenger in the sixth-generation Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road. A Webster Sherriff deputy pulled the Tacoma over for speeding. The driver was removed from the truck and was being questioned by the deputy when Austin slid behind the wheel and drove away.
The Sheriff’s department pursued Austin and the truck, with speeds reaching 115 mph. The chase came to a dramatic end when Austin hit a spike strip, narrowly missing police vehicles that blocked the roadway. The speeding truck then drove into a ditch before ramping over an embankment. The truck flew airborne for several yards and landed onto a parked Toyota Corolla. The Corolla was occupied by Barbara Harlon, who was remarkably unhurt.
The same couldn’t be said for the Tacoma and Corolla, however. The four-door car suffered a caved-in roof, while the Tacoma’s grille, bumper, and radiator were completely destroyed, along with its front suspension. All four tires suffered puncture holes from the spike strip.
The Tacoma was reported stolen, so both Austin and the truck’s original driver were taken into custody. Austin was last seen on February 8 leaving Halco Productions in Shreveport where he was employed on a work-release program. Fittingly enough, Austin was in jail for a probation violation and… car theft.
Something tells me Austin won’t be eligible for work-release anytime soon.
New “Grappler” Rig Stops Police Pursuits
Cops have been chasing bad guys for nearly all of history. Nabbing the perp got exponentially harder when cars came along in the 20th century. However, the reign of mechanized fleeing might be coming to an end. Check out the “Grappler,” a device that deploys from a police car and entraps the rear wheel of the get-away car, puncturing the tire and locking up the wheel via heavy-duty straps. A tether secures the fleeing vehicle to the police car, completely stopping any chance of escape.
The Grappler was invented by Leonard Stock, an Arizona man reportedly tired of innocent people dying in high-speed police chases. Stock devoted eight years to developing the device and is now marketing the Grappler to police agencies across the nation.
“The options right now are getting in front of a suspect vehicle to deploy tire spikes or using the pit maneuver or some type of smash up derby style process to stop a vehicle and the officer many times is pinned against a suspect vehicle,” Stock told FOX10. "Being able to end a pursuit in a much more controlled fashion has huge value for law enforcement and for the safety of the community as a whole."
The Grappler could also drastically cut down on damage to police cars, which would help pay for the initial cost of the Grappler system. Pricing hasn’t been announced, however.
The system can be operated in two different ways. First, the tether can be used to help slow the fleeing vehicle, which is especially helpful on front-wheel drive cars. The Grappler can also be disconnected from the police car, remotely from inside the cab. This would be ideal if a suspect abandons the disabled vehicle and runs on foot. The pursuing officer can simply detach and drive away.
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Ford Police Interceptor Utility Gets New Rear Spoiler Traffic Warning Lights
Ford has just released its new Rear Spoiler Traffic Warning Lights for the Explorer Interceptor Utility that cleverly incorporates hidden lights inside the spoiler above the back window. When off, the lights are nearly impossible to see. Hit the switch, however, and the Interceptor Utility glows like a Roman candle on New Years.
This is the latest in upgrades Ford has brought for the Interceptor Utility. The last upgrade was Ford’s new “no-profile” Front Interior Visor Light Bar, which sits along the headliner just above the rearview mirror. Combined with the rear spoiler lights, the Interceptor Utility is very difficult to spot by nearby motorist. Other lights are available too, including grille and bumper lights, headlight flashers, side mirror lights, and taillight flashers.
Ford’s police brand marketing manager, Stephen Tyler, says the lights help increase safety for police officers. “Aftermarket light bars can impede visibility by hanging down over the glass. Our fully programmable Rear Spoiler Traffic Warning Lights are integrated into the spoiler, so agencies get their bright red, blue, and amber LEDs with no compromise to rear visibility.”
The programmable part Tyler refers to gives officers the ability to customize light colors and patterns. The lights can flash red/red, blue/blue, red/blue, and amber. The light bar can also be used as a directional signal, pointing drivers around the police vehicle. The lights’ intensity can also be adjusted from 100 percent down to 20 percent.
The Rear Spoiler Traffic Warning Light can be optioned onto the 2017 Police Interceptor Utility. Like the other police gear available on the SUV, it comes with Ford’s limited factory warranty and can be serviced at a local Ford dealer.
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2016 Smart ForTwo NYPD Edition
In 2014, Smart decided that the second-generation ForTwo had spent too many years on the market and launched the much-improved, third-generation model. Redesigned from the ground up with help from French automaker Renault, the new ForTwo is a significant departure from its predecessor in terms of design, technology, and drivetrains. Under the hood, the tiny city car continues to use small-displacement, three-cylinder engines, but ditched the previous powerplants in favor of two new units from Renault. It also received a manual transmission for the first time. As far as lineup diversity goes, the ForTwo spawned the usual convertible, Brabus, and all-electric versions.
In 2016, the small German automobile made its debut as a police car for the New York Police Department. The largest municipal police force in the United States ordered no fewer than 250 ForTwos as a replacement for the three-wheel motorbikes it previously used in the city. A welcome decision among policemen, who now benefit from all-weather protection and air conditioning. Currently using around 9,000 vehicles, the New York Police Department quoted the car’s agility and reliability in its decision to turn the 106-inch-long ForTwo into a patrol car.
"The smart is spacious and agile and makes my job much easier. Many people say that the little patrol cars are really cute, too," said Officer Ralph Jefferson, the first policeman to take the ForTwo on patrol duty around Chinatown.
Needless to say, it looks like the days when the NYPD used large vehicles such as the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in the city are long gone. But, this isn’t the first time small cars are preferred in crowded neighborhoods. Back in the 1950s, various police departments around the U.S. acquired Nash Metropolitan economy cars for police duty. At only 149.5 inches long, the Metropolitan was one of the smallest vehicles on American roads and pretty much a Smart ForTwo among the very large cars produced by Detroit.
The ForTwo joins vehicles such as the Ford Taurus, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt, and Ford Explorer in the NYPD fleet.
Continue reading to learn more about the Smart ForTwo NYPD Edition.
Driving and Pokemon Go are Two Things That Don’t go Hand in Hand
Pokemon Go. It’s turning into a huge pain for people who don’t play the game or have a job to do. There has been at least one account of a player walking into traffic and getting hit by a vehicle, and businesses are starting to post notices that Pokemon Go players are banned unless they are for playing customers. There have even been a few articles out there that falsely claim players have caused accidents because they were playing while driving. Well, here is another article about someone crashing their car while trying to play, but this time, there is video evidence and a pretty good reaction from the driver who caused the accident.
This accident happened in Baltimore while officers were discussing a call they had just taken care of when all of the sudden, BAM – a young driver sideswipes a police car has he tries to catch a Pikachu or some other kind of stupid virtual creature. The officers immediately run after the SUV that struck the officer’s patrol car, which came to a stop at the end of the block. Luckily nobody was hurt, but the driver – who did genuinely feel bad and probably really idiotic – summed up what happened perfectly:
“That’s what I get for playing this dumbass game.”
That’s right, buddy – that’s exactly what you get. The Pokemon Go craze is getting ridiculous and, quite frankly, this guy is lucky that he didn’t hurt himself or anyone else. Let this serve as a warning to all of you who can’t seem to look away from your phone screen for a second:
Pay attention to what you’re doing, where you’re going, and – for the love of whatever religion you believe in – quit trying to catch mythical creatures while you’re driving before you kill yourself or someone else. Click play and watch the short body cam video for yourself.
Barricade Returns In Upcoming Transformers Movie Dressed as New Ford Mustang
Ten years after thrilling us with one of the best car-chase-scenes-turned-droid-death-match we’ve seen in the history of cinema, Barricade will return in the fifth installment of the Transformers movie franchise. The film, titled the Last Knight, is currently in production and it appears that after seeing the franchise go stale in the third and fourth films, director Michael Bay is dipping into the success of the first movie, including reviving one of the coolest Decepticons in that movie.
Back then, Barricade was a Ford Mustang police cruiser, decked in the familiar black and white colors of law enforcement and sporting a “to punish and enslave…” livery to tout his Decepticon roots. Now that he’s returning to the franchise, Barricade will once again use a Ford Mustang, albeit the current generation model that launched in 2014. A picture of the car tweeted by actor Josh Duhamel is the first official look we get of the new and supposedly meaner Barricade, and judging by the massive body kit fitted into the Mustang, this Decepticon is going to be all business.
The familiar police equipment is there, including the roof lights, the bull bar, and the all-too familiar black and white colors. There’s also a massive body kit highlighted by the extended arches, the huge rear spoiler, and the bulging hood with the two massive scoops. Seems like Barricade is ready to do Megatron’s bidding anew, and from the looks of it, I don’t think he’s forgotten what Bumblebee did to him back in 2007.
Transformers: The Last Knight is scheduled to be released in theaters on June 23, 2017. Duhamel will return to the franchise after a one-movie sabbatical to reprise his role as Lt. Colonel William Lennox. Joining him in the case is Mark Wahlberg, who played Cade Yeager, the lead role in Transformers: Age of Extinction, and franchise newcomer Anthony Hopkins in a yet-to-be-revealed role.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
1962 CHP Dodge Polara Stops By Jay Leno’s Garage: Video
The past few episode of Jay Leno’s Garage have featured some pretty interesting cars that aren’t really of the norm as far as classics are concerned. There was the heavily tuned 1976 Ford Fairline. There was the incredible Ford Festiva-based Shogun pocket rocket. There was the 1978 Hongqi CA770, a car even Leno didn’t think existed until he saw it in person. And of course, there was the custom-built 1915 LaBestioni Rusty Two. By comparison, the latest car to make the trip to the garage is a lot more mainstream than the previous guests, but it’s still pretty exotic in the same vein as the others. This is the 1961 California Highway Patrol Dodge Polara.
Most people might recognize the car for its various depictions in period Hollywood films of that era, but the uniqueness of this particular CHP Polara is without peer. One of Leno’s guests for this episode is Morgan Yates, the corporate archivist of the Automotive Club of Southern California, and he basically told Jay that this particular CHP Polara is just one of two units that have been restored back to its pristine glory. That’s important because despite the number of Polaras the CHP ordered in 1961 – 1,200 total – the cars never spent a moment outside of the sun. They were beat up and driven to the ground to serve their purpose. Now, only two remain and this is one of them.
Soon after his discussion with Yates, Leno introduced Dave Skaien, the man responsible for the restoration of this particular CHP Polara. The two talk about the technical side of the CHP Polara at length, but the biggest takeaway in my mind was the collaborative effort that went into restoring the car to look good as new. As Leno pointed out, a restoration like this doesn’t come cheap and Skaien himself admitted that a lot of people contributed in the restoration, including one man who couldn’t be bothered to part with his Jones Motorola round speedometer for any amount of money until he made it available for the restoration of this CHP Dodge Polara.
The episode goes on at length about the car and it’s a fascinating story considering how it came to be, how it got used, and where most of it ended up. And as always, Leno gets the treat of driving the car at the tail end of the episode. At the very least, that part’s always worth checking out.
2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Carabinieri
The supercar market has been booming for a while now, so it wasn’t really surprising when we started seeing supercars turned into cop cars. It’s happened a number of times over the years, giving wealthy police departments access to cars like the Maserati GranCabrio Politie and nearly the entire lineup from Lamborghini, with the most recent being the Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 Polizia (that sure didn’t take long, either.) The point I’m trying to make here is that there are plenty of performance cars rocking police livery. As it turns out, the list of performance-based police cars has just gotten a little longer with the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV being the newest model to make the conversion.
Surprisingly, however, the QV Carabinieri isn’t going to be used as a traditional cop car. According to the recent press release from Alfa Romeo, a total of two models have been converted and will be primarily used to transport things like organs or blood during medical emergencies. Outside of that, its duty will be to serve as an escort car during different police ceremonies. Even with that being the case, the Giulia Carabinieri will still be decked out with all the latest and greatest police gear.
That said, it may not be chasing around criminals anytime soon, but it will have the gear to do the job if need be. So, let’s go ahead and take a closer look at the Giulia QV Carabinieri and what went into making the conversion.
Continue reading to learn more about the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Carabinieri
Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Joins Italian Police Fleet
One thing this world doesn’t have is a shortage of Italian performance cars that have been turned into police vehicles. This includes nearly the entire Lamborghini lineup, including the Huracán LP610-4 Polizia, Lamborghini Aventador Polizia, and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia. Maserati has also gotten in on the action with the Maserati GranCabrio Politie, and don’t forget about Ferrari’s FF Beverly Hills Police Officers Association Ball Edition. Now, Alfa Romeo joins the ranks with the Giulia QV Caraninieri.
So, big deal – it’s just another sporty Italian cop car, right? Well not really, because this car probably won’t be pulling anybody over anytime soon. The whole purpose of these new Giulia QV police car is to transport things like organs or blood for medical emergencies, and it will also serve as a ceremonial escort car for the police department. So, if you see one of these bad boys hauling ass towards you, don’t worry; it’s probably not coming for you – well unless you need a kidney anyway.
Despite the fact that it won’t be used to chase down criminals like some of the other Italian beasts turned police cruisers, it has still been fitted with all the goodies of other police cars. Inside the car is equipped with the necessary radios, LED flashlights, computer system, and even a portable defibrillator. On the outside it has the standard police department markings, including the “Carabinieri” decal across the side, and that light bar on top that we all hate to see so much.
Alfa Romeo didn’t mention whether or not the car is equipped with an up-rated engine or other things to give it an edge, but it’s not all that important. In stock form, the twin-turbo V-6 delivers a shocking 505 horsepower. That’s enough to get Giulia up to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, so just in case one does try to pull you over, you might want to stop. It will probably catch you if you don’t.
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2016 Ford F-150 Special Service Vehicle Package
Ford Motor Company keeps on expanding its services to law enforcement and fleet customers. The automaker has just released a Special Service package for the 2016 F-150 designed for rigorous jobs like police duty and roadside assistance providers.
The truck can be specially ordered to accommodate any job, with a range of cab, bed, and drivetrain choices.
“Many officers need the extra space F-150 Special Service Vehicle offers,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police marketing manager. “They can load the cargo box with equipment and still fit five people inside. Its utility is unmatched.”
The F-150 Special Service Vehicle comes in XL trim in either Super Crew or Super Cab configurations, with either the 5.0-liter V-8 or the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, and in 2WD or 4WD set-ups Regardless of engine choice, a high-output 240-amp alternator replaces the stock unit to accommodate for long idle times.
“We offer a whole family of police vehicles,” said Arie Groeneveld, Ford chief program engineer for police vehicles. “Our lineup aims to fulfill the unique needs of law enforcement officers, and our F-150 Special Service Vehicle is an extension of that offering. This vehicle definitely lives up to its Built Ford Tough reputation.”
Under all the specific features of the Special Service Vehicle package is a standard F-150. It rides on a high-strength steel frame that’s fully boxed. The body is of course stamped from aluminum, and the cab features the truck’s modern interior with plenty of creature comforts.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 Special Service Vehicle Package.
Ford Launches “No Profile” Light Bar for the Police Interceptor Utility
Next time you’re burning rubber in your Mustang GT350, just remember each unsuspecting Ford Explorer could be an undercover police cruiser. That’s thanks to Ford’s new “No Profile” light bar package the automaker is now offering as a factory option for the Police Interceptor Utility.
The new light bar mounts inside the vehicle, just above the rearview mirror on the front windshield. It’s incorporated into the headliner for a seamless look. Its thin profile keeps the windshield clear, unlike most aftermarket windshield light bars. When turned on, the light bar flashes in an alternating pattern. It can also be programmed to flash in a red/red or blue/ blue pattern.
What’s more, the light bar features a bight white mode for “take down” and “scene” operations. In other words, it basically acts like an aftermarket LED light bar to throw extra light forward. The white light can be adjusted from full intensity down to 20 percent, along with an auto-dimming function, as well.
The light bar, technically called the interior visor light, is available on the 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility as a factory option.
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