Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Car Immobilzer / Destroyer

Three embodiments
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
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A system for attacking parked vehicles from a distance, to either prevent them from leaving a location or destroying them in place.

Basic device is a small remote car, which may be autonomous with an onboard computer or remotely operated by a person. It has different configurations depending on intended use. It is meant to be used under cover of darkness - or at least deployed when/where nobody is looking.

1) Basic model: It contains an upward facing camera and some sort of cutting/piercing tools (clippers, rotary blade, drill bit, etc). It rolls under the vehicle and damages a vulnerable part - such as gas tank, oil pan, exposed electrical connections, battery packs. After completing its mission it retreats, unless you’ve opted for…

2) Kamikaze model. As above, but also carrying a sparking tool - either friction or piezo-electric. After breaching the fuel tank it waits several seconds and throws some sparks to ignite it. In this mission profile it is considered expendable.

3) Axel Foley model: Does not breach any vehicle systems, but stuffs a banana in the tailpipe.

a1, Mar 18 2023

Axel Foley Version - skip to 3:30 https://www.youtube...watch?v=VSdnI3cXyAQ
[a1, Mar 18 2023]


       Bun, only because they will inevitably wind up used AGAINST the road pirates operating under letters of marque.
21 Quest, Mar 18 2023

       I had a similar idea years ago for a kamikaze RC car or drone to take out Uber and Lyft cars. The problem with something like this being used by law enforcement is that it WOULD escalate things between them and their detractors, and the city would have to decide if they make more money by using them than they lose to destroyed police property.
21 Quest, Mar 18 2023

       Even though I categorized this under law enforcement, I did originally thought of it as something vigilantes might use. Equally likely for police, military, or criminals - once you make a weapon anyone can use it.   

       Kamikaze drones don’t blow up cars, people do.
a1, Mar 19 2023

       Looking at the original writeup this morning (and correcting several typos), I also realized the basic model could vandalize a car by piercing one or more tyres. The damage would be in the sidewall hidden from view, so it’s especially sneaky.
a1, Mar 19 2023

       (I have Googled, but failed to find what I'm looking for...)
Many years ago, I saw (on TV) a device similar to this. A small remotely-operated car (a bit larger than a skateboard), possibly rocket-propelled, was launched from the front of a pursuing police car. It went under the target vehicle, where a couple (3, IIRC) of metal probes would make contact with the chassis etc, & deliver a large shock to the car, frying the electrical systems. No word on if passengers got shocked too...
It's a bit hard to focus a search, with electric cars & remote everything being de rigueur these days.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 19 2023

       I always envisioned a little bit of plastique that gets detonated right by the tire to completely cripple the wheel, or possibly a magnetic limpet mine it attaches to the undercarriage using a retractable robot arm. A nailgun mounted at sidewall height could work quite well though.
21 Quest, Mar 19 2023

       [neutrinos_shadow], I wouldn’t be surprised if that thing had at least been proposed and likely built at some time. But like you, I couldn’t find it.   

       Focused searching has gotten harder lately.
a1, Mar 19 2023

       [a1]; it was definitely built & demonstrated. Maybe mid '90's? An Australian show called "Beyond 2000" was my Must Watch back then; it's where I recall a lot of the weird ideas I comment about (that & Popular Science & Popular Mechanics magazines).
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 19 2023

       I think I need a video to understand.   

       Or could you summarize? Actually I'll ask Bard or GPT
pashute, Aug 21 2023

       bard broke down saying I can't help with that. I'm just an AI. GPT went red.
pashute, Aug 21 2023


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