Monday, November 10, 2008

Do not run! - the new Carbon police car

Patrick and I were chatting tonight and he asked what I did. I wearily wrote, "I do IT for law enforcement," and his reaction was, "cool job!" Which got me to thinking that it is a cool job. I get a decked out police type-vehicle, an expense account, and meet lots of interesting people. I also get to attend interesting conferences and trade shows like the International Association of Chiefs of Police. And I get to see things like this, the new Carbon:

The purpose-built police car - Carbon
Marketing photo

What I saw today at the show.

If you think it looks cool in the pics, check out this video!

The concept of the Carbon is to provide, per their Web site, "the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle, designed by law enforcement, for law enforcement." They go on to state that cops drive "lightly modified retail passenger cars that were never designed to handle the rigorous, round-the-clock demands of law enforcement." They have a point. The Crown Vic, the market leader, has similar specs (same platform) to the Lincoln Town Car. What's needed in a police patrol car is, first and foremost, reliability, performance and safety, with things like cargo room and ergonomics lagging behind. What's different in the Carbon concept is that they've designed it with "Ultra-Low Sulfur (ULS) Diesel," and higher MPG than anything else on the market. It's green and mean! A good combination. The extras are that the light bar is built in, plus everything else you'd want, including a PIT-capable push bumper molded into the body. Nice!

My opinion is that the pictures don't do it justice. It looks much "meaner" in person. I love the integrated lights, and the "purpose-built" idea. I just wonder if this is a good time for any startup company, even one selling to the public sector.

The stats for the Carbon (via the manufacturer) are impressive:

  Carbon E7 Chevy Impala Dodge Charger Ford Crown Vic Interceptor
Horsepower 300 240 340 250
Torque 420 245 390 297
MPG (combined) 28-30 22 20 18
0-60 mph 6.5 sec 8.82 sec 6.53 sec 8.71 sec
1/4 Mi. 14.5 sec
@98 mph
16.65 sec @87.13 mph 14.99 sec @95.68 mph 16.58 sec
@85.75 mph
Braking 60-0 125 ft 140.5 ft 132.8 ft 142.4 ft
Lateral Gs 0.85 g 0.84 g 0.83 g 0.80 g

The bottom line is that... I think I've found my new car. Now if they can just get it to market before Christmas!

UPDATE: I posted the wrong video. Corrected.

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Anonymous said...

You know they're going t want civilian versions of this. (Probably for rappers or Austrian-born governors of California.)

Anonymous said...

Great post!


Nathan Teodoro said...

I know. You're both right. I would say that comparing this to a Crown Vic cruiser is like comparing Darth Vader's Star Destroyer to those to a freighter. It looks mean and fast. A little Robocop, eh?

Anonymous said...

From what I know of police and their car, I would think filing, writing and such office space would be the biggest requirement. Acceleration is nice but forms in triplicate is the real lot of the policeman.

Nathan at TDA Training said...

There's more than a grain of truth to your comment on report-writing. Nowdays, many agencies are using the computer in the car for all of that - it's called "in-field reporting." The idea is similar to that of "community policing - keep the patrol officer out in the community. The physical presence as a deterrent to crime is the impetus.

Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

I always say that with the computer, two radios going, the car radio playing, a cup of coffee and my department nextel beeping at me..its a wonder my brain doesn't overclock.

Nathan at TDA Training said...

There was a major city PD that told me that they could attribute over 100 crashes a year to distractions in the cockpit, I mean cab, of the cruisers.

No wonder I never we never let our officers have Internet access in the car. Of course, now they all have it on their phones. It never ends!

Anonymous said...

It think that if I was designing a police car from scratch. I would put a storage/office space behind the front seat and the detainee area at the very back with no access to the front cabin (reverse seating with rear doors). The notion of having to get out of the car to pull a briefcase out of the trunk to get forms, seems silly.