World

New Technology Could Stop Truck Attacks In Urban Areas

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid.

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

The Swedish government wants to test so-called “geofences” to stop vehicle attacks by automatically slowing down trucks in urban environments.

Geofences is a recent invention that haven’t been tested at a larger scale. A GPS device is attached to the vehicle to control its speed within virtual perimeters. Heavy vehicles would not even be allowed to enter certain areas without a working device.

The Swedish capital of Stockholm suffered a truck attack in April after an Uzbek man, who was ordered to be deported, killed five people on a busy shopping street. Authorities have since put up 60 concrete barriers around the city, and they now want to test the new system as early as next year.

“What we need is a system where larger vehicles can’t drive through the tolls without a device that controls the speed,” Daniel Halldén, Stockholm’s transport commissioner, told news agency TT. “If a vehicle drives too fast in a spot where it’s not allowed, it would automatically stop.”

Terrorists have used vehicles as weapons since the mid-2000s. The method became increasingly common after the July 14, 2016 attack in Nice, that killed 84 people. Thursday’s attack in New York City follows a string of similar events in major European cities such as London, Berlin, Barcelona and Stockholm.

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