Imagining the cop car of the future

As the Los Angeles Auto Show gets ready to open its doors next week they've given the public an advance look at their annual design challenge. This year's theme, chosen by the Design Los Angeles Board of Directors, tackles what kind of vehicle we might be seeing in our rear view mirrors in the future — namely the cop car.

The challenge was called Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025. It's a timely topic as the cars civilians are driving are advancing and self-driving cars are becoming a reality; the police vehicle needs to evolve with the times as well.

The Board of Directors gave designers from some of the world's biggest auto-makers the task of meeting the new transportation and societal conditions of 2025 while effectively "protecting and serving" the public of various regions. Other considerations include addressing emission concerns, population growth and the changing infrastructure.

The resulting collection of ideas imagines a future with police vehicles that look like four-wheel drive urban assault vehicles that are perhaps a click away from what we are used to now, to militaristic unmanned drone vehicles that work both on the ground and in the air. It goes without saying the police officers of the future will be processing lots of data so some vehicles portray complex heads-up displays.

All of the designs are the lawman's version of a fast and furious machine with the addition of a lot of drones to play with, and are an interesting look at the creative vision working at each of the auto companies that entered.

With the variety of ideas it may be hard for future police departments to settle on just one version of a vehicle that will help them stay a step ahead of the bad boys.

To learn more about each concept and the designers' vision visit the Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge

Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, via The Verge

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