Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that the 2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit is about to get a futuristic upgrade called the "Officer Protection Package." The automaker has built the vehicle for law enforcement officers.
It is not going to be surprising if the modification will prompt some observers to liken it to a RoboCop technology. This is because the upgrade will equip the vehicle the ability to detect those who might sneak from behind. It should also complement a recent upgrade that installed the UConnect 12.1 Touchscreen System into the Charge Pursuit.
Dodge Charger Pursuit Officer Protection Package
For the threat-detection feature, FCA has collaborated with InterMotive, a California startup specializing on vehicle control systems.
"This technology is designed to prevent an officer from being ambushed from the rear while parked," Jeff Kommor, vice president of fleet sales at FCA, said in an official statement. "While it does not replace vigilance, this technology acts as a second set of eyes and provides police officers with added peace of mind when they are in a parked Charger Pursuit."
The new capability taps the car's radar and camera technologies, which originally constituted the cruiser's rear park assist system.
How Does It Work?
FCA explained that the upgrade is expected to raise police officers' situational awareness.
The car will promptly alert the officer on-board if it perceives any danger or if its sensors have been tripped. Any activity behind the vehicle will get captured in the camera display. In addition, it will automatically lock the car's doors and windows. The siren and the rear lights will also get triggered.
The update has been deployed to address an increasing demand for such detection mechanism. This has been driven by an uptick in the number of ambushes of police officers last year. At least 57 police officers have been shot dead in 2016. This number indicates an alarming 68 percent increase compared with the fatalities recorded in 2015.
Free, Plug-And-Play Vehicle Upgrade
According to FCA, the upgrade will not cost law enforcement agencies anything as it is an add-on if they have ordered the 2017 Charger Pursuit. The module itself is also easy to install, which probably means that it will work with older models. Users only need to plug it into the Charger Pursuit OBDII port, which is located under the dashboard.
Some sources believe that the Officer Protection Package is an attempt on the part of FCA to increase the Dodge Charger Pursuit's sales. At this point, the cruiser is getting trounced by the Ford Explorer, which law enforcement agencies use as the Police Interceptor Utility.
FCA maintains that the Charger Pursuit range remains as America's best-selling police sedan.