eat ass drive fast
- Sep 10, 2007
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It's amazing what you find sitting out the front of Holden's Port Melbourne headquarters
Our eagled-eyed Editor-in-Chief spotted this Pontiac G8 sitting outside Holden head office looking ready to tackle US crooks. The left-hand drive G8 was painted in the colours of the Los Angeles Police Department and it certainly captured our interest.
It turns out the car is the work of a Melbourne company, National Safety Agency, that specialises in innovative technology development for emergency services operations around the world.
The L.A.P.D. Pontiac is a prototype designed to showcase the technology the company has been working on over the past two years for both Australian and international agencies. It will be demonstrated to senior members of the L.A.P.D. on Monday in Sydney after being on display at next week's APOC (Association of Public Safety Communication Officials) conference.
National Safety Agency (NSA) director Des Bahr told the Carsales Network that the Pontiac employs several new features specially designed to improve officer safety, efficiency and reduce cost. The most notable is the police computer screen being molded directly into the dashboard. The company was able to integrate many of the separate technologies used by law enforcement agencies into the single platform.
"We've created a virtual police station on wheels," Bahr says.
Much of the work on the Pontiac was also used on the company's Emergency Services Concept Vehicle. It is a Holden Commodore designed and built to a national standard, unlike current law enforcement vehicles that conform to individual state requirements. NSA has worked with Holden for over two years on the project.
"We wrote to every manufacturer in Australia," Bahr says. "They all wanted to observe [the project] but Holden said they wanted to participate."
The potential for both NSA and Holden is huge. It is believed American law enforcement agencies currently have approximately 80,000 Ford Crown Victoria sedans on fleet but the aging car is due to be phased out next year.
Most forces require V8-powered rear-wheel drive sedans and the Dodge Charger has been adopted by some police forces in America, but Bahr believes the Pontiac represents a safer and better-equipped option.
"If we were able to tap into that market the opportunities are huge for any manufacturer," Bahr says.
In addition to the L.A.P.D. Bahr says the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as agencies in the UK and around the world, have shown interest in the prototypes.