If there is one industry that has always fueled and spread tech development, it is the world of law enforcement and crime investigation. From DNA analysis to sophisticated computer networks, law enforcement agencies from the local to the federal level have always been at the forefront of tech advancement. This interest naturally includes the world of gadgets, with some devices bordering on ideas once thought to only exist in the world of science fiction. Dubai’s police, some of the best equipped officers in the world, recently began tests of a vehicle that could change how police patrol the streets and respond to emergencies.
Premiered earlier this year at tech shows across the globe, the Scorpion vehicle is a single passenger hovercraft developed by Russian tech firm Hoversurf. The futuristic vehicle runs entirely on electricity rather than fossil fuels, though its battery time only offers about a half hour of riding per charging period. The vehicle can reach speeds approaching 45 miles an hour, making it a viable option for patrolling city streets and navigating residential communities. The Dubai police vehicle can handle loads up to 600 pounds, allowing officers to carry plenty of gear and supplies when responding to emergencies. Impressively, the vehicle is even capable of autonomous flight for about a four mile duration. It travels at roughly five meters, or 16 feet, above ground, making it perfect for safety officers to avoid traffic and respond quickly to natural disasters and other emergency situations.
Dubai’s police force is no stranger to extravagant and cutting edge transport and vehicle solutions. In the past they have also developed and employed luxury Lamborghinis for patrol, a robotic police officer capable of processing fines and performing basic surveillance, and autonomous police vehicles capable of identifying suspects and performing complex road maneuvers. Another vehicle, premiered by the department alongside its Scorpion hoverbike, is a motorcycle equipped with a suite of eight cameras capable of observing and recording vehicles that run red lights or drive recklessly. Like the Scorpion, the new motorcycle is battery operated, and can reach a blazing speed of 125 mph, making it faster than their traditional patrol cars.
The nation’s fire department also employs some unique tech solutions, including a sort of jet pack that uses water to propel firefighters to higher floors rather than depending on ladders. In that sense, the Hoversurf Scorpion is a fitting addition to the Dubai police force’s already high tech arsenal.