Fiat Chrysler has cleverly re-purposed some not-state-of-the-art tech on its police cars to protect officers. The radar and cameras at the rear of its Charger Pursuit vehicles can now detect movement behind the car when it's parked, alerting officers with a chime, locking the doors, rolling up the windows and flashing the taillights. It also activates the vehicle's rear camera, letting cops know what's going on at their "six."
The tech could prevent a rash of incidents like one that happened recently in San Antonio, where 20-year veteran detective was fatally shot while sitting in his car during a traffic stop. "This technology is designed to prevent an officer from being ambushed from the rear while parked," said FCA Fleet CEO Jeff Kommor. "While it does not replace vigilance, [it] acts as a second set of eyes and provides police officers with added peace of mind when they are in a parked Charger Pursuit."
Though FCA doesn't say so, it appears to be using the existing rear camera and radar on the Pursuit. The InterMotive module, called the "Officer Protection Package," is simply plugged into the vehicle's OBD-II port and secured under the dash. The company says they came up with the feature by request from a number of agencies.
Radar sensors and cameras work on many vehicles after they're started (and some in the ignition accessory position), so police would have already been able to use the camera and radar, including with an audible warning. However, the automatic locking, windows and flashing lights up the safety factor considerably. Fiat Chrysler is offering the new features on its 2017 Charger Pursuit for no cost.