Rockets Solve High Speed Chase Problems

December 7, 2013, By Daniel Rapcencu

Just about every cop or good guys vs. bad guys movie has a high speed chase as the centerpiece to build suspense. My favorite high speed chase scene is in The French Connection. In my opinion there is none better.

However, in real life, high speed chases can be more than an adrenaline rush for all those involved. Collateral damage in a high speed police chase can be quite high and usually involves several blameless vehicles as well as police cars, utility poles and houses. Even worse are the deaths of police officers and innocent bystanders.

StarChase Launcher installed in grill of police car

StarChase Launcher installed in grill of police car

A company called StarChase has come up with a solution that eliminates some of the high speed chase by installing a system that rivals anything that Ian Fleming could dream up for the James Bond books and movies. The intriguing part is the rocket launcher that is mounted in the grill of a police car. Since the use of high-explosive rockets are frowned upon in traffic, the launcher, powered by compressed air, fires a unique tracking device.

StarChase GPS Tag

StarChase GPS Tag

StarChase GPS Tag on rear of target vehicle

StarChase GPS Tag on rear of target vehicle

Stargate’s GPS Tag device is a projectile (not a real rocket) consists of a self-contained GPS unit and a tip that contains some really sticky substance. When fired at a vehicle, the GPS Tag sticks to the body or bumper and starts transmitting its location coordinates back to the central office. Pursuing officers can then use their mobile devices to pull up a map of the vehicle’s location in real time.

Officer in police car looking at tracked vehicle location

Officer in police car looking at tracked vehicle location

Real time location of vehicle being chased

Real time location of vehicle being chased

Everyone involved in the pursuit can back down to safe speeds and then head off the fleeing suspects. Yep, they can run, but they can’t hide. The StarChase Pursuit Management System is already saving lives and police departments are already benefiting from it.  One department has already used it to apprehend fleeing criminals: two projectiles fired, two hits and two criminals captured.

StarChase control panel with ARM and FIRE buttons

StarChase control panel with ARM and FIRE buttons

The unit costs $5,000 and each projectile costs $250.  Outfitting all the police cars with this system should also save costs associated with wrongful death lawsuits resulting from high speed chases. I don’t think Hollywood would be interested in this system. Maybe a remake of Columbo would use one of these systems as his vehicle could never chase a criminal.

A big thanks to Mandy McCall, the Chief Operating Officer of StarChase for the pictures!

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