Police car chases are extremely dangerous, not only for the officers involved, but also for any innocent passers-by whom the feeing car crashes into. The StarChase system, however, is designed to make those chases safer. Instead of pursuing fugitive vehicles, police can just shoot them with GPS tags.

At the heart of the system is a compressed-air cannon and a laser sighting system, installed in the front grille of a police car. Using a simple console-mounted control panel, officers can activate that cannon to shoot an adhesive GPS "tag" at the back of the other vehicle. Each unit, not including the tags, costs approximately US$5,000.

The cannon, in its closed state (left) and one of the GPS tags

Once the fugitive vehicle has been tagged, its whereabouts can be tracked by a central dispatcher, who can coordinate the movements of other cruisers to head it off. The pursuing officer can drop back to a discreet distance, hopefully causing the fugitive driver to slow down, as they're no longer trying to outrun the police car.

The StarChase system is currently being tried out by police forces in Iowa and Florida.

Source: StarChase via CNET