The future of policing may be autonomous drone motorcycles that can issue parking tickets, like the Brigade.
As the development of driverless vehicles continues apace, it surely won’t be long before we start to see autonomous, road-going “drones”. Grunt work vehicles that could stay out on the road almost indefinitely, as there wouldn’t be the fleshy bit in the middle getting all tired and cranky.
Such a thing could be particularly useful to the police, patrolling the streets to detect and issue citations for low-level crime. The Brigade is such a thing.
The work of Canadian industrial designer Eduardo Arndt, the Brigade is a riderless motorcycle, powered by batteries and kept upright by a gyroscope. It carries a range of sensors, cameras, speakers, and projectors that would allow it to issue tickets for minor offences.
For instance, if the Brigade spotted an expired registration or an illegally parked car, it would automatically send time stamped video evidence to the municipal court, and e-mail a ticket to the owner.
Or if it caught a motorist speeding, it would encourage them to slow down with flashing lights and an audio message. If those signals were ignored, it would then alert the nearest patrol.
The Brigade looks enough like a motorcycle as we currently know it that people probably wouldn’t get too freaked out by it. But the concept of a robot doing police work would no doubt rile civil rights groups. In the United States, at least. On the other side of the Atlantic in the United Kingdom, cameras have been spotting and citing the same kind of offences for more than a decade.
Arndt’s reasoning is that if a drone is carrying basic patrol duties, human officers would have more time to deal with major crimes and threats to public safety. You can't really argue against that, but people still would.
Policing will change as technology develops and connected infrastructure grows. Will that change look like the Brigade? And would you mind if it did?