A Cop In Every Car

[Michael] designed this display board to mimic the appearance of a police car pulling you over. It resides in the rear window of his car (facing forward) as the controller board measures the speed of the vehicle. An Arduino grabs NMEA data from a GPS module and compares it with a table of speed limits. If you are speeding, based on your current location, the reds and blues flash as if you’re getting pulled over. The thrill of getting busted for a lead foot doesn’t sound like much fun to us but to each his own.

Incidentally, [Michael] is using the EM406 GPS module, the same one as the Frustromantic Box used.

73 thoughts on “A Cop In Every Car

  1. @Life2Death

    Wow man you did some great research and offered up valuable information cause obviously all blue LEDs are of the same ridiculous brightness as the ones used in computer cases. The poster of the project said himself that they are barely visible in the day. I particularly love the “500 posts on every computer case” factoid… good job man.


    “use at your own risk. something like this is illegal and can get you in serious trouble.”

    -Said the pickpocket… lol, thanks man for yet another post on this we almost forgot.

  2. IIRC that some JDM cars had speed warning lights and a bell as factory items. But they were not GPS integrated so were not comparable to this Hack.

    I’d consider this unit as a form of “In Cab Signal” almost evocative of Railroad ancestry but updated by GPS and creative PsyOps factor detail in the display.

    RE: Laws about visible lights on road legal vehicles were- and are always going to be of valid concerns. We used to say it simply as:

    “If you have to think about if it’s going to get you hassled- it likely will”

  3. If the readers of hack-a-day can’t figure out how to attenuate the brightness of the LEDs used in this project, or mount their DAYGLO bright tinted HIDs in such a way that they are “impersonating police” then they deserve the felony.

    I think a (bright enough to be noticed by the driver- yet under the instrument canopy) alternating blue and red light on the tach/speedo would be quite useful-

    But I have a lead foot and run trapster when I’m driving…”spiritedly.”

  4. sorry for double post , its too bad that i can’t edit my own posts
    to make it legal , i would tint all of the the car’s windows pitch black so no one can see whats over there unless he has a infrared eye-vision

  5. I wonder how many of the people that wrote this is illegal actually read the applicable law for their state or country. In my area this would be legal so long as the lights didn’t flash. I guess a lot of these HAD readers are not hackers – expand on his idea in a logical way. Make a sign that says “SPEED” or a voice warning system that says “Check Speed” or something.

    Mike, I think you did a great job man! The concept you demonstrated could be very helpful. This idea would be great for new teen drivers if it was hooked up to an audible warning telling them to check their speed.

    PS: In my area, I’m sure you could talk a judge into giving you the standard “first offense” penalty – which is a $25 fine. The colors match a police car, but your intent is clearly NOT to stop other motorists as if you were a police officer.

  6. for everyone saying they are illegal – you wont see these unless you are speeding, which you would get pulled over for anyways. so double incentive to not speed, 1) to stop these annoying ass lights, 2) you will get an extra fine ontop of your speeding for the blue/red lights :D

  7. Thumbs up! I think this was sweet, just dont sell it to the Gov. haha =P

    People need to start reading posts before they open their mouths, or is keyboards? ha, anywho. Props yo!

  8. Side note: Oh, a video demonstrating the lights working during the day and night probably would’a helped… Then we could have saw how bright, and if this was really a legality issue or not. ha ha, but like i said before… Thumbs up yo!

  9. I love it! Could be use when I let one of my friends take my car, just to be sure he doesn’t use all the gas speeding. ^^

    Another interesting hack would be to record the visited places. Muhahahahah! *Evil power-hungry mode*

    I also like the comments…
    Instead of looking if something is good, useful, bad or mean, let’s check if it’s legal. Who needs morality anyway, when we have laws…

    Seriously, anyone who is able to build this would also be able to dim the light if necessary.

  10. Wow..

    @Dongler: I totally agree, anal retentive is the key phrase with all these comments.

    these are the kind of people who call and report their neighbors for breaking exotic pet bylaws for having a pet snake or for letting their grass grow to 2.5 inches when the community bylaws say 2.2 inches is the maximum.

    It’s not your concern, it’s not harming anyone. The lights aren’t even visible from outside the car. Stop the mindless knee-jerk reactions already.

    Note: Don’t have red/blue LEDs, Snake, or a lawn.

  11. So… then by process of elimination you do have an exotic pet, hold one second. “Um yes I’d like to file an anonymous complaint about this guy that goes by the handle sasquatchking.” All joking aside this has been the most ridiculous post… so many wannabe ecops / elawyers out there but they are doing their thing trolling & bashing instead of making & hacking, can’t expect much more from that crowd but seriously go start your own blog / forum there seems to be enough of you.

  12. I love how everyone get’s all upset about this being potentially illegal but no one comments on the legalities of RFID spoofers and the likes or the posts detailing how to sniff ATM card information from an ATM.

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