Sweden's solution to vehicle rampage attacks

Sweden's solution to vehicle rampage attacks
By Pascale Davies
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Following the fatal truck attack in 2017, Sweden is rolling out a technology to prevent acts of vehicle terrorism.


After a terrorist attack April last year, when a lorry drove through a crowd in a popular shopping street in Stockholm killing five people, Sweden introduced a technology, which it hopes will prevent further vehicle attacks from happening again. 

Known as Geoblocking, or geofencing, it works by using GPS to limit the speed of vehicles in certain areas. It also allows authorities to prevent a vehicle from entering zones, according to a report by the national broadcaster SVT.

This week, Sweden's Transport Administration showed the technology off in a demonstration with the country's largest truck manufacturer Scania and Volvo.

In the test, a bus could only reach a speed of 20 kilometres per hour, regardless of how much the driver stepped on the gas.

Geoblocking is also being used for better road safety in everyday life. Autoliv, an automotive safety supplier, whose electronics business Veoneer participated in the demonstration said in a statement the technology "can make transport more efficient, improve road safety and reduce climate impact."

It could also be attractive to other countries that have been struck by vehicle attacks, such as Nice, which saw 86 people killed in 2016 during the Bastille Day celebration.

"Within a ten-year period, it's quite possible that you'll see geofencing in quite a few places," said Maria Kraft, the traffic safety director at the Swedish Transport Administration to SVT.

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