A recent news report by the BBC has shown how a British firm have successfully developed a prototype device capable at disabling cars and bikes using electromagnetic waves or EMP.
Known simply as the RF Safe-Stop, the device uses radio frequency pulses engineered to confuse on-board vehicle electronics, which in turn disables the engine. The report states that several companies, namely EV2, are pushing the prototype towards military agencies primarily as a non-lethal defence system.
The video attached shows the special demonstration of the prototype held in a UK airbase, successfully stopping a car and a bike. Once the offending vehicle is within range of roughly 50 metres, the device focuses the waves on its target. At this point, the on-board warning lights and dials acted wildly before the engine subsequently stalls, forcing vehicles to roll to a halt.
The prototype presently weighs in at a hefty 350kg and would require a dedicated vehicle to transport it around. Despite its ability disrupt on-board vehicle electronics, engineers behind the RF Safe-Stop says that vehicles disrupted by the device can still be restarted once the device s aimed away from its target.
Also interested in the RF Safe-Stop are law enforcement agencies, indicating that it could be a good replacement to the current range of ‘non-lethal’ vehicular disabling devices such as tyre-deflating stingers. The growing number of run-flat tyres equipped on vehicles has put the stinger’s useful role under question, forcing law enforcement agencies to figure out alternatives.
Whilst revolutionary, one cannot help but wonder what if criminals decide to use older generation bikes that have zero electronics on board, the kind of target capable of evading the RF Safe-Stop’s EMP waves.