Police superbikes: The new breed of driverless vehicles
Imagine a super-fast, driverless motorbike flying across highways 24/7, issuing traffic tickets -- via mobile apps -- to the owners of any vehicle daring to break the speed limit.
The design for these futuristic police drones already exists. It's called Interceptor and could soon become a reality.
"It's only the natural evolution of technology," Canadian mechanical engineer Charles Bombardier told CNN.
Bombardier's company, Imaginactive, is a nonprofit organization that inspires the next generation to dream up the vehicles of tomorrow.
Bombardier comes up with his ideas by looking at existing everyday products.
"Traffic cameras have been around for years. But with the advancement of pilotless technology we now have new solutions to the basic needs in our public works systems, including in the area of public safety," he said.
While patrolling, the motorcycle would seamlessly scan license plates and record offenders using real-time video. If a violation is recorded, the drone could automatically issue citations via e-mail, text message or even traditional post.
Existing technology for safer cities
The technology behind these cars already exists. In November, a driverless electric racer completed a successful track test in Marrakech, Morocco.
The battery-powered prototype was tested for a proposed race series where driverless cars will eventually compete on temporary city circuits.
Bombardier said that technology can also be put to use to create safer cities.
Imaginactive's police drone means human patrol officers can be reallocated to more urgent police business, instead of wasting time issuing traffic tickets.
According to Bombardier, one police officer could supervise five Interceptor units.
"But these police drones would require a big investment. You would need around $5 million, so they would need to be financed by a government organization," Bombardier told CNN.
His next step is to get the attention of a large public organization, and Bombardier often revamps his ideas to keep his concepts relevant.
Brazilian designer Eduardo Arndt is working with Bombardier to develop a new vision called the Brigade. The Brigade, Ardnt says, is inspired by the geometric simplicity of racing motorbikes from the 1980s.
"To counter the vintage look I was going for, I added more modern details like LED headlights and security cameras across the bicycle," Arndt explains.
But both models do more than look cool. Powered by zero emission fuels like hydrogen, the superbikes are also part of a more ecological future.
"The cities of the future that Imaginactive works for will be less polluted. There will also be less road accidents, as driverless automated vehicles can be equipped with technology that detects technical failures such as oil leaks," said Bombardier.
"I assume most people will like seeing them patrol streets night and day, but this is just simple guess," he told CNN.