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December 2013

Vehicle engine

RF Safe-Stop disables a vehicle’s engine remotely using radio beams










End of the high-speed car chase? Engineers invent a system that turns off a vehicle’s engine remotely using radio beams

  • RF Safe-Stop uses an explosion of electromagnetic waves to stop motors
  • It can be triggered at a distance of up to 165 feet and also works on boats
  • The waves are also used to deactivate the on-board electronic systems of a vehicle.
  • Future plans could see the technology installed on helicopters
  • Police and governments could also use it as a “non-lethal weapon” to stop jesters and even car bombs.

In a move that could spell the end of high-speed car chases, horseback riding and even terrorist attacks, a UK company has created a system that can stop vehicles with the push of a button.

The Safe-Stop RF System uses explosions of electromagnetic pulses to remotely shut down any car engines targeted by the device.

The system was created by Chelmsford-based e2v Technologies and could also be used for sovercome boat engines as it can be fired up to 165 feet away.

The Safe-Stop RF System, shown in this graphic, sends electronic pulses to a targeted car. The pulses immobilize the motor. It can be triggered at a distance of up to 165 feet and police, as well as governments, have already expressed interest in using the system.

HOW DOES RF SAFE-STOP WORK?

RF Safe-Stop works because the targeted radio frequency pulses “confuse” the electronics inside the car, causing the engine to shut down as a safety measure.

The pulses pass through a loom, or cable, which acts as an antenna to target where the pulses are triggered.

When a car enters the field of these impulses, the engine is cut and stopped.

As long as the car remains within this field range, the engine cannot be restarted.

RF Safe-Stop works because the targeted radio frequency pulses “confuse” the electronics inside the car, causing the engine to shut down as a safety measure.

The radio frequencies used come from the L and S parts of the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

These frequencies are used, for example, in weather radar equipment, as well as in communication satellites of the NASA space shuttle and the International Space Station.

The pulses pass through a loom, or cable, which acts as an antenna that targets where the pulses are fired.

When a car enters the field of these impulses, the engine is cut and stopped.

The current E2V prototype, shown, weighs around 350 kg and was installed on 4x4 vehicles.

The current E2v prototype, shown, weighs around 350 kg and was installed on 4×4 vehicles. Future models could be designed to fit helicopters. The system can stop runners, for example, or defend buildings from terrorists driving cars with bombs into buildings.

Product manager Andy Wood said As long as the car remains within this field range, the engine cannot be restarted.

According to Wood, the system has already attracted the interest of various governments and police forces and could be used as a “non-lethal” weapon.

It could be used to stop runners for joy, for example, or to defend buildings against terrorists driving cars with bombs into buildings.

The Safe-Stop RF system could also be installed at port and maritime control points to prevent vessels from entering restricted areas.

The current E2V prototype weighs around 350 kg and has been fitted to Nissan Nevara and Toyota Land Cruisers. Future models could be designed to fit helicopters.

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