• Jan 20, 2009
Click above for a walk-through of how the SQUID works

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate has been working with a research firm in Arizona that has come up with the Safe Quick Undercarriage Immobilization Device (SQUID). The SQUID is designed to safely, non-lethally stop drivers trying to elude the police.

Here's how it works. The SQUID disc is placed in the middle of the road, and a remote operator triggers a two-stage explosion when the getaway car gets close to it. The first explosion sends barbed straps flying out away from the disc, which get hooked on the wheels and undercarriage when the car drives over them. The second explosion occurs when the SQUID detects engine heat directly overhead and sends a burst of "sticky tendrils" that cling the straps to the axles and driveshaft. Within 500 feet, the axles can't turn any more and the car skids to a halt.

The key now is to make it lighter, stronger and cheaper. Last year the SQUID stopped a Dodge Ram pickup traveling at 35 mph, but authorities want to be sure it will stop an F-150 at 120 mph before they'll seriously consider using it. We aren't sure that an F-150 doing a four-wheel skid at 120 mph is the safest way to bring someone in, but it is probably better than bullets. The scientists are working on that this year, and if they get it done it could give the word "dragnet" a whole new meaning.

Check out a walk-through of how the SQUID works by clicking through the gallery below.


[Source: DHS via Physorg]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      So what happens when a car with some serious underbody aerodynamics management panels (like a GT-R) rolls over this? Cars like this have most of the rotating parts covered by panels, so this wouldn't be terribly effective.

      I also wonder how well PIT maneuvers work on AWD cars with computer controlled torque splits and active yaw control.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It seems like this would be like a spike strip, but even easier to avoid. I'm skeptical.
      • 6 Years Ago
      just have a flat underbody plate and run flats. problem solved.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, that must be the dumbest thing I've seen in years. I mean, how about forward wheel drive cars? What if the guy runs it over? And the list goes on ....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Right....superior, except for the whole "wrapping around the front wheels" part. Once the driver of a fleeing vehicle loses control (at 120MPH) they will present an enormous danger to other motorists.

      I give this one a "thumbs-down".
      • 6 Years Ago
      People drive around spike strips, what makes them think this is going to be any different?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey Rich, plural is not the answer either. A good unit either works or it doesn't. I have my doubts whether this will ever see use on our highways. Too complicated and no assurance it will work in all cases.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't someone going to just drive around that thing.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I'MA KILL THAT FRISBEE!!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm sure cars will drive around it. Some might even lose control and end up in accidents. What's gonna come next? Lawsuits.....

        This has to be one of the most retarded design of 2009.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ditto. People already drive around stop sticks, and this is only slightly less conspicuous... if you can call a big white disc sitting in the middle of the road inconspicuous.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's what I was thinking. It's not like it's exactly inconspicuous, lol.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say just use bullets. It's cheaper, it keeps them from running again, and it's a HELL of a deterrent. Of course, they couldn't do it in the middle of a crowded freeway, but...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Reminds me of that article on another blog of a hoon who drove over a mattress. The springs kinda had the same effect on the underside of his car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if this would work on my A6 since the whole bottom part of the car has a plastic diffuser and the exhaust runs right under the drive shaft.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh man, detachable strips? First unintended death from deployed sticky spikey strips flying off a wheel rotating at what, like 1800 rpm, should eliminate this program.
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