How Will the Connected Car Change Police Work?

  • October 11, 2016
  • Scott at LoJack

LoJack has always been strongly connected with the law enforcement community. Our founder, William R. Reagan, had a vision of developing a solution to help protect officers while on the job. Since 1986, LoJack has enjoyed a strong, collaborative relationship with law enforcement agencies across the country.

As we’ve discussed, the connected car is giving rise to a more sophisticated kind of thief. The question then becomes: how will connected car technology transform police work?

While it’s hard to predict the future, here are some major technology trends we’re interested to in watching in the months and years ahead:

  • Better tracking capabilities: When police have more accurate, real-time information, it can help them do their jobs better and safer. Some connected car technologies plug in to a vehicle’s Onboard Diagnostic (OBD-II) system, giving consumers a range of features such as instant crash notifications, movement alerts, stolen vehicle location assistance, virtual boundaries, and location assistance. If a consumer gets an alert that their vehicle was unexpectedly moved, they can notify police who can respond and have a better chance of recovering that vehicle, if it was stolen, than if they had no alert. These technologies have a similar potential to assist police as today’s stolen vehicle recovery systems do.
  • Leveraging telematics technologies: Some law enforcement agencies are beginning to test telematics systems in their fleets. These systems can not only send alerts when a vehicle needs routine maintenance or repairs, but also track driving behaviors. This could offer two benefits. First, it could help law enforcement departments and agencies save on vehicle maintenance and replacement. Second, it could help keep officers safer. Telematics systems are designed to track behaviors like speeding, harsh braking or swerving. This information could help coach officers to drive more safely when they’re out on routine patrol.
  • The connected police car? Earlier this year, a Spanish company, Ficosa, developed its vision for the connected police car, which included technologies such as license plate readers, surveillance cameras, and 3G or 4G connectivity. The intent of these mobile technologies is to give officers more tools to carry out investigations while on the road.

Technology will never replace the best police traits, which include courage, good instincts, knowledge of their community, and a commitment to making a positive impact.

However, as connected car technologies advance and thieves develop more advanced skills, police will need to continue to adapt their tactics. Technologies, especially those that give police better real-time information to augment tried-and-true investigative work, can help them do their jobs better, and can even take safety a step further.