Goodbye High-Speed Car Chases: This Pulse Tech Shuts Down A Car's Engine

The RF Safe-Stop can stall the engine of a vehicle by confusing its electronic systems with radio frequency.

High-speed car chases could be a thing of the past. A U.K. company has developed a prototype that could stop cars in their tracks by blasting electromagnetic waves.

E2V's RF Safe-Stop can stall the engine of a vehicle by confusing its electronic systems with radio frequency. The technology has piqued the interest of the military and police, reports the BBC.

In demonstrations seen by the BBC, a car drove towards the device at about 15mph (24km/h). As the vehicle entered the range of the RF Safe-Stop, its dashboard warning lights and dials behaved erratically, the engine stopped, and the car rolled gently to a halt. Digital audio and video recording devices in the vehicle were also affected.

There are concerns about the technology's effects on electronic braking and steering systems, but EV2 says the risks are low. Because RF Safe-Stop works on electronic systems, it can also be effective on boats. However, it's likely useless against older cars.

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5 Comments

  • Steve Works

    Marconi did invent a similar machine and tested it late June 1936 on the road that led from Rome to Ostia.

  • Len Feldman

    It's portable (about the size of a washing machine with a microwave horn stuck on one end), and it disables vehicles' electronics (so long as they're not going too fast and they don't use old-fashioned carburetors.) Where do I sign up to buy one?

  • Drew Palmer

    Or for used by terrorists to fry the electronics at a major traffic intersection. Zap! Every stoplight flickers red and green while all the cars veer out of control. This means all vehicle electronics now have to be hardened against attack.