A new generation of police vehicles sporting common electronic underpinnings should be available within two years, according to officers on an ACPO-led initiative.
They maintain that the introduction of Single Vehicle Architecture, which gives cars a generic platform for new kit to be seamlessly integrated, is performing well in tests and will ultimately deliver better efficiencies plus cost savings.
Speaking at the Security and Policing Exhibition at the FIVE venue in Farnborough, ACPO ITS Project Officer Sgt Jonathan Pope told PoliceOracle.com that the Home Office was now preparing its own tests on the SVA concept.
He also highlighted that assessments of new Driver and Vehicle Management Systems that would be used in the architecture were also underway in a number of forces.
It is envisaged that this tool â€“ which can determine how efficiently and safely a vehicle is being driven by measuring data such as fuel consumption, acceleration and braking â€“ can be used to improve driver behaviour.
Sgt Pope revealed that these tests are likely to run until June â€“ but early results suggested that significant savings could be made, particularly on fuel and wear-and-tear.
He added: â€œWe would expect the market to start delivering vehicles that are fit for purpose for the Police Service in around 18 months if all goes according to plan.
â€œThere has also been some significant international interest in what we have doing â€“ in particular from officers in Denmark and Germany as well as the French Gendarmerie.â€
In addition to showcasing the current generation of equipment in an SVA-ready Vauxhall Insignia, there was also a glimpse of the future at the Security and Policing event with new equipment in a concept Ampera electric vehicle.
The kit included an ANPR-style facial recognition camera, which has been delivering some impressive results, as well as next generation GPS equipment.
Ch Supt Jim Hammond, who heads up the ACPO ITS Project, told PoliceOracle.com: â€œIt is going to take the facial recognition initiative a while to get into the car.
â€œWe need to look into some of the legal aspects of it in the next 12 months.â€
As previously reported on PoliceOracle.com, the SVA concept came from planned revisions to the earlier Incident Data Recorders fitted to vehicles.
It was realised that there was great potential create a new common electronic underpinning through the use of Control Area Networks in cars.
New Generation Police Cars ‘Under Two Years Away’