Chinese criminals beware! Soon you will no longer be able to hide in crowds of 1.3 billion people as police plan to introduce patrol cars with facial recognition software.
Developed by a team of researchers at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China’s Police Equipment Joint Research Lab (good ol’ UESTCPEJRL), the high-tech SUV is equipped with a 360-degree rooftop camera, capable of automatically scanning faces within a 60-meter radius, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The faces are then compared against those in the police database. If one comes back as a match, then the system immediately alerts the driver, even as he is cruising along at 120 kilometers per hour. The system can even recognize license plate numbers and car types, and all it needs is three-quarters of a face to make a positive match.
This futuristic technology was unveiled in Chengdu last week. It is scheduled to be road-tested in Hangzhou when the the G-20 summit comes to town later this year.
In fact, China isn’t the first country to try out face scanners on cop cars. In order to make itself the “safest country in the world” the United Arab Emirates announced that it was developing its own high-tech patrol car capable of scanning your face last year. While there has been blowback in some countries with police using increasingly innovative but invasive means of surveillance, so far it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem in the UAE; we will have to wait and see how Chinese citizens respond.
In the meantime, Chinese police will just have to rely on old-fashioned methods of catching crooks, like waiting for them to be dumb enough to post pictures of themselves on social media.