November 14, 2007
Car Zap

EMP-based auto disablers, which have been thought about for years by various engineering geeks, seem to have been made a reality.

This thing'll require a ton of field tests before anyone tries it for real. The fear of control loss is quite real. On a modern car, zapping the engine also turns off power steering immediately and power brakes after just a few pedal presses. If the chases on COPS are any indication, fleeing perps are poor drivers even when everything works. Putting their steering wheels in oatmeal and their brakes in concrete would seem pretty dangerous, at least on the face of it.

Posted by scott at November 14, 2007 12:19 PM

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1 - I want one (that's concealable) for my Xterra. Now that I'm no longer driving in Jersey, Boston, NYC, DC, and the like, I no longer have to drive like an arsehole (up and over there, you do or else you never get to your destination), so it'd be fun to mess with those that do.
2 - Think about the first time this thing hits a pacemaker (either due to senile old grampa going out for a drive and deciding he doesn't need to listen to the police, or when he's an innocent bystander). Grampa dies and the PD gets sued. As well as President Bush for developing it and allowing it to be used as a method to cull out the senior citizens - and especially teh brown ones...
3 - The elevators mentioned in the story should be fine. They've got enough fail-safe devices that it would be more of an inconvenience - not to mention how close the cops would have to be.
4 - As for the loss of control, just be a bit more careful about picking your spot and you'll be fine.
5 - They seem to be a bit obvious and ghey-looking.

Posted by: Ron on November 14, 2007 12:35 PM

They'll never be deployed. People would immediately start screaming about getting cancer from electromagnetic fields. "Oh God, the cops used this disabler and exposed me to DANGEROUS RADIATION! Lawsuit! Lawsuit!"

Posted by: DensityDuck on November 14, 2007 03:15 PM
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