Hybrid Drug-Sniffing Car? No Way!

An electric car transformed into a drug-sniffing vehicle? It works, and A U.S. professor was able to do it.

Engadget reports of an electric Ford sedan was used in the unconventional project by Professor Guido Verbeck of Inficon. Verbeck, also a chemistry professor at the University of North Texas, had intended for the electric vehicle to assess pollution and other nature-friendly applications.

It turns out that Verbeck and his team realized that the upgrade on the electric car could be geared toward recognizing non-legal substances in the air. The added catch: the device can also locate the source with verified accuracy.

Verbeck and the Inficon team were able to determine the efficiency of the drug-sniffing device by setting up a mock home drug lab. After spewing some drug fumes through air vents, the device was able to sniff out the exhaust from a distance of 0.25 miles.

Professor Verbeck said that once the computer detects specific chemical strains in the air, it evaluates the location of the strain and is determined with a 4 percent margin of error. He further describes the device in comparison to a mass spectrometer nestled in the hybrid car's passenger seat.

The drug-sniffing technology has no particular name yet; however, the chemistry professor said that if a small-scale version was made, it could cost between $80,000 and $100,000. The newbie tech could be a practical solution to smoking out and curbing rampant drug use, and the law enforcement has expressed significant interest in this latest invention.

DEA Special Agent Patterson commends the technology so far, although legal experts may remain skeptical of what court rulings would decide on the matter of illegal searches under the Fourth Amendment, according to SlashGear. Should the drug-sniffing technology be ruled out as unconstitutional, law enforcement would not hesitate to use it for drug busts ASAP, given its lesser-than-two-evils nature.

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