Texting UK Police May Control Your Car

The UK's Home Office is working on technology to give police more power in chase situations. One of the possibilities is to allow police to communicate with a car's onboard system, stopping it with a text message.

A spokesperson for the Home Office commented: "If new technology can help police stop vehicles more safely and more effectively then it is right that we look at all the options carefully.

"We have asked companies to propose possible electronic solutions and we will be in a position to say more once all the options have been properly tested and fully evaluated."

The text-message technology being trialed is similar to so-called “intelligent transport systems” already available to the public.

Cars would be fitted with a receiver which can be located via satellite navigation and then, if the vehicle is stolen or used in a crime, used to take control of the vehicle.

Fans of Greg Bear may remember a similar technology described in his 2007 book Quantico:

All cars and trucks in the U.S. were now required to have Cop Block. A patrol car could radio a coded signal that slowed and then shut down the engine.
(Read more about Bear's Cop Block)

Update 20-Oct-2009: Keith Laumer used an earlier version of this idea in his 1965 novel A Plague of Demons; see the entry for police control-override. End update.

From the Telegraph; see also Greg Bear's interview comments on Cop Block.

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