SINGAPORE - It only takes seconds for the Singapore Police Force's Ground Response Force (GRF) officers to detect vehicles of interest while driving in the latest fast response car.
This is thanks to a new automated number plate recognition system that will be built into about 300 five-door compact SUV Hyundai Tucsons, of which several are already on the road and will gradually replace the current fleet of vehicles by 2024.
The system can detect the make of the vehicle in question and match the licence plate number to the police database for wanted vehicles.
The cars, which are used by GRF officers to respond quickly to emergency calls among other duties, will also boast an in-vehicle video recording system that can livestream high-resolution video footage to the Police Operations Command Centre.
Another key feature is the radio-frequency identification technology in the boot, which can track equipment such as riot shields and bulletproof vests in the vehicle, eliminating the need for manual inspection by officers.
Officers can use and control these technological features via a touchscreen dashboard.
The driver and passenger seats have also been designed to allow officers wearing police equipment on their belts to enter and exit the vehicle smoothly, and reduce their discomfort during long operations.
The rear seats have also been designed to provide a space for hands cuffed behind the backs of persons in custody, as well as a mechanism for safe seatbelt application.
These next-generation fast response cars will also feature external mounted lights that can be used in low-light situations, and a police warning system with a rumbler that emits low-frequency soundwaves to warn other motorists of the vehicle's approach.
The public will be able to view the vehicle, which will be included in the mobile column as part of the National Day Parade and will make its way to the heartland in Woodland, Bishan and Geylang Serai.
Deputy Superintendent Ng Li Ki, operations officer at the Frontline Policing Division's Operations Department, said the vehicle was developed in collaboration with the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), with the help of feedback from officers on the ground.
Development of the vehicle started in 2017, while a four-month user trial for the vehicle started in March.
The SPF said it may add more capabilities to some of these cars, such as a function to detect, locate and disrupt drones.
Various centres of excellence as well as the Joint Capabilities Programme Management Centre at HTX worked together on the design and technological features of the vehicle, said Mr Eric Chua, director of HTX's Land Systems Centre of Expertise.
"In lending deep technical expertise to delivering a robust and innovative vehicle, HTX continues to serve its mission as a force multiplier that effectively enhances the Home Team's operational efficiency and safety," he added.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police How Kwang Hwee, Director of Operations, said the next-generation fast response car is a "key investment that will further improve the operational effectiveness and safety of our ground officers".
"The SPF will continually strive to explore and adopt technology to improve our front-line capabilities," he added.