The European Union police are reportedly developing a system that would allow officers to remotely kill the engine of any can from a central control facility. The technology for such a system already exists and is even baked into select vehicles as part of their navigation system but the EU is looking to make it a mandated system according to a report from The Telegraph.
The idea is that a remote kill switch could help stop deadly high-speed car chases and put an end to current techniques like spiking a vehicle’s tires.
As you can likely imagine, reaction to the news has been extremely negative. One member of the British parliament questioned what might happen if the system was triggered accidentally, say, on a vehicle that was traveling on the highway. What if it caused a fatal crash? Who would be liable? Or even worse, what if the system was hacked or a rogue employee decided to kill every car at once?
Safety aside, concerns about invasion of privacy and personal freedom also persist. Another member of parliament said the price citizens pay for surrendering their democratic sovereignty is that they are governed by an unaccountable secretive clique.
Documents show the technology for police use hasn’t yet been developed but considering that auto makers already have the capability, it likely wouldn’t be hard to law enforcement to build their own system or even license systems from vehicle manufacturers.
If successful, a standardized system could be required within the next six years.