The California Highway Patrol hopes to have police drones on the streets at some point in the near future, according to RT.
California, Washington, and Texas are among the states interested in having automated vehicles patrolling the roadways in search of traffic violations. By sending police drones out to do the busy work, authorities could essentially shift their manpower to other areas of law and order.
The New York Times reports that auto designers at the Los Angeles Car Show presented their ideas for the California Highway Patrol of the future. Organizers explained that the vehicles “should empower highway patrol officers to meet new demands and effectively both ‘protect and serve’ the public while considering not just enforcement needs but emission concerns, population growth and transportation infrastructure.”
Among the contraptions dreamed up by designers was BMW’s E-Patrol “Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle,” a car that sounds like something you might find in a James Cameron film. The police vehicles would feature a “unicycle-like” robot and a flying drone that could theoretically disable cars from the air with an electromagnetic pulse.
Other companies that presented designs for the California Highway Patrol of 2025 imagined autonomous vehicles that could pursue criminals through land, air, and water. Developers of these futuristic crime fighting machines also believe that flying drones could effectively monitor speeding drivers from the air.
As The Verge points out, many of the imaginary automobiles dreamed up for the car show looked more like something designed for an upcoming Transformers sequel than things you might actually see on the roadway in the real world.
Despite the somewhat glossy and unrealistic approach many companies took with the challenge, it would seem that police drones could be patrolling freeways in the very near future.
What do you think about drones policing California roadways? Do you think the implementation of a robotic law enforcement system is a good idea?