Let’s Help Cops With a Roaming Network of Crime-Spotting Trikes

Law enforcement officials around the world may differ, but at least one thing unites them: When they need to move, they need to do it quickly, and efficiently. Some roll in cars (or supercars), some on motorcycle, some on horse, others on foot. I propose a new kind of ride: a small, nimble trike.

Except the conceptual Prowler isn’t built to carry cops. It’s meant to deter crime, or at least mitigate its effects, until the police can arrive.

Charles Bombardier

About

A mechanical engineer and a member of the family whose aerospace and transportation company builds trains, planes, and more, Bombardier’s at his best when he ignores pesky things like budgets, timelines, and contemporary physics. Since 2013, he’s run a blog cataloging more than 200 concepts, each a fantastic, farfetched new way for people to travel through land, air, water, and space. His ideas are out there, but it’s Bombardier’s sort of creative thinking that keeps us moving forward.


With one wheel up front and two in back, plus a two-stroke engine running on hydrogen instead of gasoline, each trike would carry a suite of cameras and high-precision GPS chips.

Together, they would form a wireless mesh network, a digital web that provides a private communication platform and a method for sharing information between vehicles, and with a central database. The vehicles themselves would use voice and fingerprint recognition tools to prevent their theft.

The Prowler is not a tool for vigilante justice but a complement to today’s police forces, which can’t be everyone at once. The presence of an active network of courageous riders who do care could make a big difference.

Those who do ride would follow a training course, but the vehicles would be equipped to create and file incident reports (date and time, location, witness names and statements, videos, pictures, audio, and so on) without human input.

People commit crimes every day, and the presence of an active network of riders ready to help, rather than stand by, could make for safer cities.

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