Ford files patent for an autonomous Robocop car

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Ford has filed a patent for an autonomous police car. The patent, first spotted by Motor1, describes an autonomous police vehicle that would be able to detect infractions performed by another vehicle, either on its own or in conjunction with surveillance cameras and/or road-side sensors.


Ford could use similar technology to improve the environment-sensing capabilities in its commercial self-driving cars, which it hopes to roll out in 2021. The autonomous police car would be able to tap into surveillance cameras to spot the infractions. Or the car might just see the violation, like a human driver rolling through a stop sign, on its own.

In the patent application, Ford notes that “routine police tasks, such as issuing tickets for speeding or failure to stop at a stop sign, can be automated so that police officers can perform tasks that cannot be automated.”

The patent application also describes other scenarios in which police officers are in the autonomous vehicle, they’re just not driving. In these cases, the vehicle might respond and pull over a vehicle driving erratically and the human officers might need to intercede if the human driver is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

It's important to note that  a patent doesn't a guarantee a technology will get commercialized, however, the idea of an autonomous car doing police work is quite scary.

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