147-mph biker chase demonstrates latest aerial surveillance tech


I’ll grant I forgot that there are places without speed limits. They are not a thing here in Canada, so far as I know.


And if police culture in the United States were healthier i would find this to be a wonderful thing. But instead, our police departments are severely infected with horrible ideas whose wide spread has destroyed their credibility with wide swaths of the populace. Considering this context, i think it not unreasonable to receive this news with some trepidation.


I didn’t follow the link to learn about Churchill Navigation, but yay, I’m looking forward to my tax dollars being spent on more turn-key, pre-installed (and presumably proprietary) solutions that are sold to local law enforcement. And the military. Can’t have enough stuff to make us safer, not matter how incremental it is.

Disclaimer: This one, based on the police video at the top of this post, seems to be worth it (as long as it wasn’t staged), but there is a lot of crap that’s developed that could be called nothing more than toys for the boys in blue to play with, and a lot of crap that has licensing around it that goes against the public’s right to know about things that traditionally has been open and available. IIRC, one example was the company that makes Tasers. Aren’t they branching out to record and store footage from body cameras, and then the footage is stored on Taser Company’s cloud, and thus their IP? Something like that, anyway.



And you are absolutely right to be concerned about that. But I think this is the important distinction: your concern is not, and should not, be with the tool; your concern is with the people who will have access to it.

As long as US police departments keep putting sociopaths and racists in uniform, giving weapons to them, encouraging them and teaching them how to violate the civil rights of the people they are supposed to be serving, and protecting them when they murder people, then yeah, I agree that that’s a very serious problem and it demands very serious measures to correct. But the tools themselves aren’t the issue, it’s those people and that culture that’s the issue.

And in this particular case, nothing untoward occurred: this video is an example of exactly how law enforcement can use this technology legally and responsibly to do what they’re supposed to do.

Keep in mind: the same ubiquitous surveillance technology that law enforcement can use to catch criminals can be used by the public to document abused by law enforcement. Every cop has to act as if everythign they do is on Facebook, all the time, because it will be if they screw up. That’s a good thing.





Hey Rob -

I’d love an open source version of this. Do you have a link where I can download it? I’d also like an open source 3d printed helicopter, too. No, seriously, I’m a huge proponent of open source… but it takes substantial resources to develop something like this – like access to a 6-figure cameras and ample air time. The open source model does not fit this yet; maybe you can develop an approximation using drones, but that’s a long way from FAA-certified flight hardware. Also, I’m not sure why you seem to say turn-key and pre-installed are bad things.

Police aerial video has been in use for a long time before this system was available. It’s usage is governed by the same decades-old policies. If the police do record video (and in the dozens of ride-along flights I’ve been on, they never have), then it follows the usual police chain of evidence. I don’t think Taser’s policy should be legal (there are still questions), but this tech has nothing to do with that.


Nope. Highest speed limit in Canada is 120 km/h, on three highways in BC, boosted up from 110 km/h three years ago. (This change saves you 8 minutes when driving from Vancouver to Kelowna. Or, in my case, it saves no time at all, but dramatically reduces the chances of being pulled over by the police for driving at 130.)


Well congrats on the depth of your insight. I have not seen a police video before with this kind of military style data overlay.


That’s true. Just the ass puckering thought of this stuff being deployed to catch people for things we wouldn’t think would be a problem today due to changes in government attitudes.


So… from a vulnerability perspective, what I learned from this video that they do not have an AI to automatically track the subject, they have to manually follow them. That means its difficult for them to track more one subject and difficult to track a subject that is obscured, so to evade this system you can:

  1. Find a place to blend with nearly identical others
  2. Take cover, such as beneath the trees, and then change your direction and your looks (switch black shirt for white shirt, dump the bike and start walking, etc)

I expect the lack of an AI will be remedied soon enough.


That was some serious Minority Report shit going down.

All we need now are 3 precog mutants in bathtub, reeling off pre-crimes and we’ll be in the future.


did you even listen to the tone of voice that the dispatcher was using? that’s a drone if I ever heard one…


sure. on the Moon.


Where’s the guy that always comes in and says he thinks motorcycles shouldn’t be allowed on the freeway?


Military systems have done that for a long long time with simple target tracking, no “AI” needed. I’m unsure why the system in the video doesn’t have it or isn’t using it. The off the shelf solution Akimbo_NOT posted earlier boasts tracking multiple targets.

Anyway… keep speeding and any other nefarious doings only when it is cloudy or storming. Even the military still struggles with that one.


Yes there is. Unless your state puts governors on your accelerator pedal it’s a matter of “personal responsibility” and “Freedom to choose”

America is FREDOM TO. NOT FREEDOM FROM. Sorry, but move to europe for that kind of nannying.

Here we incentivize good behavior with punishments, and I don’t see that changing.


Doesn’t even need AI, there’s been video-editors capable of “following” content for years. (Ref. any news broadcast where a facial blur follows the subject). The AI would only come in where the subject was hidden briefly and some prediction was needed.




Always amazing to me how many people here have a hard time getting jokes.