The latest technology in cars is not only convenient for the driver but also for law enforcement officials.
Watch out for ‘smart’ cars that can park, reverse, cruise and change lanes for you. They can also grass on you if you get involved in an accident.
On Monday, a Florida woman was arrested in a hit-and-run incident, according to local media. The woman, Cathy Burnstein, fled the scene after she allegedly rear-ended Anna Preston, who was taken to the hospital with back injuries. Shortly after Preston reported the accident to the police, a local 911 operator received an automated call from Burnstein’s Ford Focus’ crash-notification system. Burnstein continually denied being in an accident, but the dispatcher wasn’t buying it.
“I did not hit anyone,” Burnstein said during the 911 call.
The dispatcher responded: “Well, why did your car call us saying that you’d been involved in an accident then?”
Burnstein didn’t have a good answer for that, and ultimately, she admitted to the hit-and-run. The car system that helped implicate her is called 911 Assist, and it’s been integrated into most Ford vehicles since 2010. If an airbag is deployed, as Burnstein’s was, the system automatically calls 911 through the driver’s Bluetooth-paired phone. Burnstein would have had to set up the program herself—a choice she’s probably regretting now.
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