Police in four U.S. states have begun using a new "gun" installed in squad cars that, when activated with a button inside the car, emerges from behind the front grill of the car to shoot GPS tracking devices at vehicles they are pursuing, according to the BBC.
A prototype of the gun that sits behind police cruiser's front grill.
Called "StarChase," the system is reportedly in use in Iowa, Florida, Arizona and Colorado, and it sounds pretty expensive. The BBC says it costs $5,000 to install to a squad car, and each GPS-enabled "bullet" it fires costs $500.
However, that cost may be justified when considering the potential costs and safety issues of the high-speed car chases the StarChase system could prevent. As soon as the GPS device is attached to the car, police are advised to stop chasing a suspect and simply track his or her location remotely. Police can then apprehend these suspects once they've reached an area with a lower chance of collateral damage.
That high price is likely the chief barrier to widespread adoption, but it's not likely to stay that way for long. One expert told the BBC that as word of the tool spreads throughout the international law enforcement community, "the costs will fall rapidly and we will see them being used routinely in the not so distance future."