Police agencies are always looking for ways to limit or prevent high-speed pursuits, but that usually involves disabling the offending vehicle with spike strips or some other device. A company called StarChase has been working on a GPS-based system that eliminates the need for a chase and doesn't put officers in harm's way.
Although we first reported on this back in 2007, ABC Action News in Tampa shows that the technology is now being tested on a broader scale. The company's Pursuit Management Technology uses a compressed-air cannon (shown above in the grille of a Ford Police Interceptor sedan) to fire projectiles that can be tracked via GPS onto vehicles attempting to flee thus allowing officers to follow from a safe distance. In the report, however, it sounds like there are still some bugs with the system as only one out of four projectiles stuck to a vehicle during a media demonstration.
Some obstacles for the system still remain including price, which is $250 for each single-use GPS projectile. More importantly, as NPR points out, police are usually required to get a warrant before placing a GPS tracking device on a vehicle, so the legality of this system could come under fire in the future. Scroll down for the video report showing a demonstration of the StarChase Pursuit Management Technology and how it can be used to prevent dangerous high-speed chases.