A new technology that could make its way to production cars is being tested in a handful of Ford police interceptors. The new tech is called "Surveillance Mode," and it essentially gives police officers eyes in the back of their heads when they're in their cars to prevent sudden sneak-ups coming from the rear.
It's a fairly simple technology and it uses current rear cameras used for backing up to detect movement going on behind the car. When it detects a person moving in the camera's view, the inside of the car makes a beeping noise and all the doors automatically lock and the windows automatically roll up to prevent any possibly sudden attacks.
The technology is obviously designed to keep police officers safer while they're out on patrol, especially when they're alone. Interestingly enough, the idea for this was thought up by Ford engineer Randy Freiburger who went on a ride-along with a police office in Los Angeles. The officer had to get out of the car to chase down a suspect on foot, leaving Freiburger alone in the car.
A screen in the rear-view mirror shows the video footage of the rear camera, and unlike in production cars when the camera is only enabled in reverse gear, this camera can stay on at all times and remain activated until the driver chooses to disable the feature when it isn't needed.
The technology will come standard in all 2014 Ford police cars, and older models can have the system retrofitted for just a few hundred dollars. No word on whether or not this technology will make it to production cars at some point, but everyday drivers could certainly benefit from such a feature to prevent robberies and carjackings.