Police in Victoria, Australia have purchased a Tesla model X as part of a trial to electrify their patrol fleet. The police force say the purchase of the car is the biggest development in police vehicles in a century.
Victoria Police will work with Tesla engineers, emergency equipment manufacturers, the department’s vehicle installation contractor and Victoria Police’s IT and communications technicians on a research and development project related to incorporating police relevant technology into the cars software system.
From today, our Road Policing Command will utilise the all-electric @Tesla Model X in highway patrol operational duties, a first for an Australian police organisation.— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) June 3, 2019
Tesla starts highway trial
The department is aiming for the Tesla to become a fully functioning Highway Patrol vehicle. The car and it's embedded technologies will be trialed in various locations throughout the state of Victoria.
“This vehicle is unlike any other Victoria Police has ever had in its fleet and could well be the future of road policing in this state, country and the world,” Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said.
"Our Highway Patrol cars are equipped with cutting edge technology and this car gives us the opportunity to investigate having these technologies in a fully integrated in-car system which has the potential of streamlining the road policing effort."
Police around the world look on
The car will be constantly monitored during its training period. The trial is likely to serve as a model for other police forces around the world who may also be keen to take advantage of Tesla vehicles silent and super fast capabilities.
The model X can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, which definitely make it the fastest cop car in Australia. It's unclear if the Victorian police intend to develop any Tesla specific software or tools for the Tesla's super big console screen. But it could certainly be the first step to an autonomous police vehicle.
“It is important to remember this is a concept vehicle for Victoria Police and we acknowledge that it will produce a number of unique circumstances and will continue to evolve as police software is integrated,” he said.
In a country like Australia with large distances between urban areas police monitor huge swathes of highways. Having reliable vehicles that can respond to the unique conditions of the job are essential for good policing.
“Vehicles are obviously critical to the work we do as they represent the mobile office for many of our frontline police and projects such as these mean that when the switch does inevitably happen, our job of keeping Victorians safe will not be compromised," Leane continued.
The car also represents a step towards sustainable police work. Unlike other emergency vehicles which consume huge amounts of fossil fuels due to their near constant use, the Tesla produces no carbon emissions.
"There is also a great environmental benefit to electric vehicles and considering our State Highway Patrol vehicles travel thousands of kilometers on the road per year, we should always be looking at ways we can lessen our impact on the environment," the Assistant Commissioner concluded.