The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has started the roll-out of about 300 Hyundai Tucson patrol vehicles, which have been outfitted with an automated number plate recognition system for linking to the police database for wanted vehicles, The Straits Times reports.

Several of these patrol vehicles are already on the road, and the automated number plate recognition system-equipped vehicles will gradually replace the existing fleet by 2024, according to the news daily.

In addition to the plate recognition system that identifies the make of the vehicle through its registered number, the new police vehicles will also feature in-car video recording that streams high-resolution footage to the police operations command centre.

To aid police officers’ workflow, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in the vehicle’s luggage compartment automatically tracks police equipment, thus doing away with the need for manual inspection for the presence of equipment in the vehicle. This information is then relayed to the in-car display on the dashboard.

Additionally, the front seats have been designed with recessed lumbar sections in order to improve comfort for officers in the vehicle while wearing police equipment on their belts, and to help enter and exit the vehicle smoothly. Meanwhile, the rear passenger compartment for persons-in-custody also features a recessed space for hands cuffed behind the persons’ backs. Naturally, a shield separates them from the police officers seated in the front of the vehicle.

The next-generation fast response car is “a key investment that will further improve the operational effectiveness and safety” of the police force’s ground officers, said Singapore senior assistant commissioner of police How Kwang Hwee. Development of the vehicle began in 2017, in collaboration with the country’s Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), with feedback from on-ground officers.

A four-month user trial began in March this year, the news daily reported, and the SPF has said that it may add further capabilities to some of its fleet, such as functions to detect, locate and disrupt drones.

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