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Jeff in Atlanta, Georgia listens on AM920 The Answer and is calling using the AskDave button on our site and asked: “I like watching COPS and those kinds of shows on TV. Have you ever heard of an EMP – a small electromagnetic pulse – coming from vehicle to vehicle that could stop these idiots that are driving down the highway at 90 miles per hour, hitting people and killing people. Just a thought.”
Jeff there have been attempts at similar things but none of them have really worked.
The EMP itself would be too destructive since theres no real way to channel it to just one car and theres always the risk of affecting the car that its being fired from, but there have been electronic guns that have attempted to disrupt the electronics on cars (usually not very reliably).
The most promising system actually came from GM. They built a feature into their OnStar system that could allow cops to ask OnStar to disable a specific GM car.
They could then send a signal to the car that would stop the engine from being able to accelerate but that would leave the power steering and brakes operational.
It was supposed to be able to stop the car and avoid any damage to anyone else from an out of control vehicle without the ability to steer or brake properly.
Overall there wasnt too much interest in the idea and though it was live for a few years we havent heard about it for a while.
There are better solutions out there that can allow safe long distance tracking and end the chase a different way. For example, there are some early sticky GPS trackers around that can in theory track a car discreetly after being fired onto it.
The idea behind those is that cops can continue the chase via GPS and the person running away can think they lost them and slow down sooner, if nothing else just to blend in. They can still be tracked though, so they can be followed more discreetly and stopped where its deemed safer.
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