Vauxhall wins ACPO challenge for police car technology integration

© GM Company

© GM Company

A British-built Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer has won an Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) challenge to integrate future technology in a Police car.

The Astra Sports Tourer, built at Vauxhall’s facility in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and converted at Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedfordshire, was designed to surpass Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bernard Hogan-Howe’s directives to allow officers to spend more time mobile rather than at the station.

The car is fitted with three computers utilising forensic and face-recognition software and equipped with high-quality cameras to record activity both outside and inside the vehicle. Video can be downloaded and streamed on-the-move or uploaded to a central database, with officers able to compress video files while in transit.

Vauxhall, which dominates a 70 per cent share of the Police fleet market, claims high-speed broadband means officers can spend an extra two hours out in the field. Crime scene photography can be collected via 3G connectivity and officers can benefit from software to predict future crime hotspots.

Described as “the Police car for the smart phone generation”, the Astra Sports Tourer allows for docking of laptops and smart phones and also has a black box which collects data including speed, location and miles-per-gallon.

Dick Ellam, Vauxhall’s Special Vehicles Manager, said: “This British-built and converted Astra Sports Tourer will help make police officers more efficient. It becomes their office and allows them to spend more time on the road fighting crime.”

Vauxhall worked with firms including Daetech Systems, TetraTAB, Airmax Group, Innaxys, Trans-tag, Kelvin Connect, Civica, Videolatitude, Imagebase and Facewatch on the technology-driven challenge and ACPO showcased the Astra Sports Tourer at the Police and security conference in Farnborough.

Simon Gordon, Chairman of Facewatch, one of the chosen collaborators, added: “It is an enormous privilege to have been chosen as a technology partner with Vauxhall. I am sure that Facewatch integrated and working together with the other break-through tech in the car will make a significant contribution to making all our communities safer.”

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