If you checked out the totally fantastic Mad Max: Fury Road, you’ll instantly recognize the idea behind the Grappler Police Bumper.
Remember this scene?
Believe it or not, a company is making a real-world version of just such a contraption. The Grappler Police Bumper is basically a pair of mechanical arms that applies a tether to a fleeing vehicle. It renders one of the target vehicle’s rear wheels immobile, while securely roping it to the cop car that’s pursuing it.
Once the grapple has been successfully applied, the pursuit vehicle can apply the brakes, and hopefully bring the escaping suspect to a halt with a minimum of risk to property or pedestrians.
It seems like a solid concept, and could very well be a safer alternative to the standard PIT maneuver, which oftentimes causes some pretty spectacular crashes. Still, applying the tether seems like a hit-or-miss affair, and certainly wouldn’t work on cars with particularly low rear bumpers or even large mud flaps.