Possible technological solutions to border security at CES


    As a debate continues over the border wall at the heart of the government shutdown, many are calling for a technological solution to enhance border security.

    This week, there’s no better place to find the latest technology than at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One of the exhibitors, Quanergy is currently developing cutting edge technology for autonomous vehicles, but that same technology is already being tested to detect intruders along the U.S. border with Mexico.

    Their system uses Lidar technology, which stands for light detection and ranging. On a car, it can quickly identify objects in the environment, and Quanergy says the applications are perfect for border security.

    There are two components to the system, laser detector and the camera. Once the laser identifies an object it locks on with the camera and continues to track it. As long as that object remains in the intrusion zone it can be depicted in icon and picture form on a screen.

    “You create a 3D envelope of the environment,” said Quanergy CEO Dr. Louay Eldada. “You identify objects, you track them and if they have a certain behavior, they enter certain zones. The Lidar tells the camera to zoom in and identify them and communicate the information to the border patrol."

    Dr. Eldada says the system has a 200 meter range, and in border enforcement, he says it would offer ample warning of an intruder.

    “Given the range the Lidar has,” he said, “you have advance notice when people are a couple hundred meters away. You send a border patrol agents to come in and intercept.”

    Quanergy is already testing the system along a small stretch of the border in Del Rio, Texas. They estimate the cost of its system at about $300,000 per mile of border.

    Critics of a technological solution say a wall is the only way to physically stop in intruder, but Dr. Eldada believes the 200 meter advance warning would offset that by allowing Border Patrol agents time to respond and intercept someone trying to cross the border illegally.

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