The perception and experience among many of us of law enforcement officers are nanny killjoys writing us up for rolling through stop signs or driving 10 mph over the limit. For most of us, it’s a fair trade quid pro quo for having freedom of motorized mobility. But traffic tickets are but one aspect of police officers’ jobs, which can also include hazardous situations in which their personal safety is under potential threat. Working to make officers’ jobs a little safer, Ford is introducing a new rear surveillance feature in the 2014 model Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility models.
Utilizing existing hardware and technology on the vehicle, the surveillance feature constantly monitors the rear of the vehicle through the rearview camera as well as utilizing the backup sensors to monitor movement and approach behind the vehicle. If movement is detected, a warning chime sounds, and driver’s side window rolls up, and the doors lock. In a busy urban setting where there would be a significant amount of foot traffic, the system is defeatable by the officer.
The patent-pending feature was the idea of Randy Freiburger, Ford’s police and ambulance fleet supervisor. Freiburger got the idea from ride-alongs with police officers, and observing the situations and hazards they face in their daily jobs. The technology was developed in collaboration with Intermotive, Inc. of Auburn, California. The feature will be available as an option on 2014 Police Interceptor models, and will be installed at Crown, the upfitter facility for police models near Ford’s Chicago Assembly, where the Police Interceptor and Utility are built.