In a push for safety, Dodge ditched cabin laptops

Computers and police cars have always been an awkward match; now Dodge has tried its hand at remedying the problems of modern patrol work with the 2016 Charger Pursuit.

The traditional way to do computer work in a cruiser is to fix a laptop to the dash or console. Sometimes these laptops are on swivel bases, but more often than not they’re fixed. This causes two problems: The computer can interfere with the passenger-side air bag, putting a second officer at risk; laptops can also cause a major distraction while driving. The Los Angeles Police Department was dealing with both of these problems and approached Dodge.

Dodge answered by throwing the laptop in the trunk … well, the laptop and just about everything else that got in the way. Instead, Dodge expanded its Uconnect screen to 12.1 inches and fixed a keyboard to the center console. Dodge also made it possible to tether a keyboard via USB or use a Bluetooth keyboard — all in the name of versatility, space and passenger safety. The Uconnect screen controls everything that an officer would use: the light bar, the camera, the siren, a phone and anything else a department wants to program into the system. Dodge chose to leave a portion of the system open to allow different departments to customize the Charger.

The Charger Pursuit is equipped with a heavy-duty suspension and other cop goodies, but you won’t see any SRT8 or Hellcat Charger Pursuits. The 5.7 Hemi is the engine of choice for the highway patrol units, with the 3.6 Pentastar six-cylinder pushing the rest of the Charger Pursuits along. TorqueFlite eight-speeds are the only available transmissions. Also, these come with all-wheel drive, so they should be capable in snowy climates.

You’ll start seeing these new Charger Pursuits cycle into fleets within the next year. Try to keep them out of your rearview mirror.

Article from AutoWeek