Car chase zapper to end OJ-style chases

Phillip Torrone
P. Torrone|07.14.04

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Phillip Torrone
July 14th, 2004
Car chase zapper to end OJ-style chases image
Car chase zapper to end OJ-style chases image
ray gun

Carbon paper, fax machines…the PDA and now the car chase— say goodbye to TV news interruptions bringing you live coverage of the car chase, thanks to the new zapper.

A new device could effectively end car chases by zapping car microprocessors with a quick jolt of energy. The prototype has been commissioned by law enforcement agencies such as the Los Angeles Police Department, and could be ready as soon as next summer.

When the radio waves hit the targeted car, they induce surges of electricity in its electronics, upsetting the fuel injection and engine firing signals. "It works on most cars built in the past 10 years, because their engines are controlled by computer chips," said Dr Giri. "If we can disrupt the computer, we can stop the car." A prototype is due to be ready by next summer.

Hear NPR's Robert Siegel and David Giri, president of ProTech, the product's maker.

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