In the near future, police may be able to remotely drive stolen Tesla vehicles to local police stations, according to a report from The Next Web.
Hans Schönfeld, Chief Innovation Officer for the Dutch Police, says his team has already started testing the crime-halting possibilities of self-driving cars.
“We wanted to know if we can make them stop or drive them to certain locations,” Schönfeld told The Next Web. “And the result is: yes, we probably can.”
Schönfeld says it may be possible for drivers to give police permission to “remotely drive” their stolen vehicle into custody at the police station.
They tested several vehicles, including Mercedes, Tesla, Toyota and Audi, and they worked in collaboration with the car companies.
Schönfeld says it will probably take another 10 years before self-driving cars are available in the Netherlands, but connected cars will come shortly after that.
Self-driving cars are still in their infancy, and the industry still faces many challenges. Tesla vehicles have been the focus of many of those challenges. A woman from Utah recently crashed into a firetruck while driving her Tesla on autopilot. As it turns out, her hands had been off the wheel for 80 seconds before crashing. Could similar problems arise with remote driving? A glitch or error in the system could just as easily lead to a similar type of collision with no option of a human driver preventing the crash.
Remote driving is still many years away, but many car makers have already installed kill switches to help stop car theft. GM installed a remote ignition block in 17,000 of its 2009 vehicles. The kill switch is engaged if the vehicle is reported stolen.
Schönfeld envision a future where cars will know everything about the environment around them. In the Netherlands, cars may soon communicate with other smart machines, like street lights, traffic lights and even other vehicles.
Dutch researchers have already tested a fleet of seven connected vehicles, all of which were equipped with cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC). The cars were able to adapt their speed to each other and communicate with intelligent traffic lights on the roadway.
The future of connected vehicles will affect car manufacturers, including Tesla. Those that jump on board with the technology early on will reap the benefits in terms of share prices and sales. But those that fail to adapt and change will be left behind.