Human Factors in the World’s First “Purpose-Built” Law Enforcement Vehicle

In the near future, you may see one of these cars in your rear-view mirror. They are new purpose-built law enforcement vehicles that will appear in 2012. I found this press release while searching for something else on the web. The cockpit was designed with human factors input from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI):

The Carbon Motors E7, slated for production in 2012, features an ergonomic “cockpit” designed to help drivers safely and efficiently interact with the vehicle under high-stress conditions. It features a large touch screen with voice-activated controls and a backup manual system.

“Like the pilots of jet fighters, law enforcement officers must interact extensively with their vehicles, receive and evaluate large amounts of information and make split-second decisions in high-pressure environments,” noted Dennis Folds, GTRI’s chief scientist and head of its Human Systems Integration Division. “The assistance we provided Carbon Motors helped the company develop a new-generation vehicle cockpit designed to help these officers do their jobs safely and efficiently.”

The human-machine interface was one of the most critical aspects of the new vehicle, which was designed to meet more than 100 requirements recommended by law enforcement agencies across the nation, said William Santana Li, chairman and CEO of Carbon Motors Corp.

Now that we’ve discussed the HF aspects, here is what you really want to know:

Powered by a 300-horsepower clean-diesel engine that can accelerate it to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, the E7 will be offered with more than 70 options – including an automatic license plate reader, radiation detector and night-vision capabilities. The vehicle is designed to meet a 250,000-mile durability specification, and it will use up to 40 percent less fuel than current law enforcement vehicles, which are modified passenger cars.

Finally, some video of a walk-around:

Considering Human Factors: Designing the World’s First “Purpose-Built” Law Enforcement Vehicle