Fujitsu and Kia team up for smart cop car prototype

It aims to integrate existing police systems into the vehicle's information systems.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
(Image: Supplied)

Fujitsu Australia and Kia Motors Australia have combined to produce a police car prototype that the pair states could make it cheaper and simpler for police forces to operate vehicles.

The car comes with a reduced amount of cabling and systems compared to the vehicles currently used by police, with functionality transferred to the car's infotainment system, allowing for the reduction of issues from cables blocking airbags, vehicle controls, and air conditioning vents.

A Kia Stinger was used for the prototype -- which is currently used by the Queensland, Northern Territory, and Western Australian police -- and comes armed with a biometric-authenticating gearstick that allows for the ditching of seven system logins.

"Fujitsu's biometric authentication technology PalmSecure secures sensitive information, while three single-feature action buttons on the front of the gearstick control emergency lights and sirens, enhancing the safety of officers who are no longer required to take their eyes off the road to operate a complex control pad," the companies said in a statement.

"Fujitsu will also integrate the radar into the car's existing head-up display, removing the dash mounted control box and irritating doppler tone produced when using the radar."

Going forward, the prototype will use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify the make and colour of other cars on the road and thus be able to highlight stolen vehicles, as well as "detect if an offender has drawn a weapon and automatically send duress signals".

"By reducing the amount of physical technology within the car, the vehicle can be modified or serviced by any KIA dealer in Australia, reducing the time previously spent servicing vehicles at specialised facilities," Chris Forbes, Kia national fleet manager said.

The pair also worked with Whelen Engineering to create a modular lightbar that reduced the numbers of cables from nine to one.

"To build each highway patrol police car now requires multiple tenders from numerous individual suppliers for each piece of equipment, from the car itself to Mobile Data Terminal, number plate recognition technology, In-Car-Video, and radar," Fujitsu Australia principal architect Ian Hamer said.

"Fujitsu's enhanced vehicle ecosystem integrates these and other individual components, simplifying the installation and removal of vehicle equipment and bringing greater agility and efficiency to the police force."

The Japanese conglomerate would be well-advised not to use its LX wireless keyboards in the vehicles, with the keyboards found last month to be susceptible to keystroke injection attacks.

The attack allows attackers to beam signals at the keyboard's USB receiver to inject keystrokes, and also potentially plant malware, thanks to the receiver accepting unencrypted signals from a demo design kit Fujitsu left in it.

Fujitsu has yet to patch a flaw the same researcher that found the vulnerability reported in 2016.

(Image: Supplied)

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