Ford Police Cruiser "Surveillance Mode"

Ford engineers are tweaking the existing sensor package on police cruiser models to remain live when the vehicle is parked.

The rear-camera, front and side impact sensors, and various driving assist sensors are being used to enhance awareness of a stopped cruiser, and will automatically rollup windows, lock doors, and sound an alarm when it detects people approaching from the rear.

According to the clip below, this lessens the risk of sneaking up on an otherwise distracted officer sitting in the car:

Of course, Ford is boldly marketing this to LEO Agencies as a fantastic addition. It seems kind of marginal to me, but it does emphasize the use of backup cameras for more than just driving in reverse.

There is no public pricing for the 'surveillance mode' option, and no word on if it will be adopted into regular production vehicles at some point.

What are your thoughts?

This is pretty cool, but I think it's a long way off. The back-up camera is an expensive option on the Interceptor, bundled in with the higher end radio and bluetooth. Many departments opt to go with a very basic radio, not just for cost, but also for usability. The Interceptor Sedan and SUV is small compared to a Crown Vic or a Chevy Tahoe. With the console setup, your mounted laptop/radios/in car camera system/shotgun rack/etc. covers up the dash space where the entertainment radio is installed, so the backup camera becomes unusable.

Beyond that, there is also cost. A $1k option times 1000 vehicles is a lot of money. An upfitted Interceptor can be upwards to $60k. If a politician can tell the people that he saved them $1m on the police fleet, he'll look like a hero.

That all being said, the Interceptor SUV is frickin' cool. We're starting to give them to our field sales team, fully decked out like and undercover or detective's car. The black on black version looks like it will hurt you, and they drive like a demon. Not your average Ford Explorer!