It sounds like interstate drug smuggling in the U.S. may just have got a hell of a lot more risky.
According to CBS, a team at the University of North Texas have created a drug-sniffing car.
Apparently, the engineers were working on a device that could measure air quality when they realised it could be adapted to fit in a car and sniff drugs out of the air.
One of the engineers, Dr. Guido Verbeck told CBS:
The car could just drive by it and keep moving down the road. It’ll alert the officers there’s something going on at the house, and where the location is.
The team have even adapted it for use by non-experts, so that rather than having to decipher complicated data results, software allows officers to see not just what’s in the air, but where it is.
In testing, the car has picked up chemical signatures from an impressive quarter of a mile (400m) away from the source.
Dr. Verbeck added:
The operator, or the tactical person using it, does not have to know anything about mass spec, they just know that this is bad.
So, basically, a police car could drive up alongside you and bust you without even suspecting you of anything in the first place and apparently the developers already want law enforcement across the country to have access to the technology.
No doubt before too long smugglers will come up with some ways of avoiding detection – they’re always one step ahead of the game…