SOMEWHERE IN EUROPE plans are afoot to build a virtual arm that can reach through a car window and quickly turn off the ignition and bring a car to a standstill.
The car killswitch, or at least the rumour of it, comes to us from the Telegraph newspaper where we read that the police will be able to turn off the engine of a car that has been stolen.
Remote shutdowns are possible and are mostly used in bait cars, which is a honeypot Honda, for example, that the police leave somewhere dodgy and then stake out.
The Telegraph reported on a push to take this further and install the 'whoa nelly' feature on all cars.
This will mean that law enforcement will be able to stop cars that are being used in crimes, cars that have been stolen, and cars that it just fancies stopping.
The paper has seen a restricted document and read that the plan to turn all cars into a will it won't it vehicle has a deadline of the end of this decade. By that time any car with smart features will have a big red halt switch, and presumably a red flag that tells criminals not to pinch it.
"The project will work on a technological solution that can be a 'build in standard' for all cars that enter the European market," said the restricted document.
The system will work by shutting off fuel on command and halting the engine. Presumably this will have a gradual effect to avoid hurling people out of the front windscreen. We assume that the doors will lock in order to avoid any successful two legged getaways.
Documents were released by Statewatch, reported the Telegraph, and it told the newspaper that this has all the hallmarks of a wheel being used to break a butterfly.
"We all know about the problems surrounding police stop and searches, so why will be these cars stopped in the first place?" asked Statewatch director Tony Bunyan.
"We also need to know if there is any evidence that this is a widespread problem. Let's have some evidence that this is a problem, and then let's have some guidelines on how this would be used." µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home