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EMAILED ON January 8, 2019 BY Wes Schlagenhauf

Motorola Solutions acquires VaaS for $445m to enhance its law enforcement suite

When you think of Motorola you probably think flip phones. But Motorola Solutions (which split off from Motorola Mobility back in 2011) has expanded far beyond t9.

Yesterday, the “mission-critical” communications and security company acquired Vaas International Holdings, a company that makes automated license plate readers, for $445m.

Motorola’s gone full pre-cog

The acquisition will strengthen Motorola Solution’s already fully loaded package of automated law enforcement services. Vaas provides high-tech, AI-enabled video analytics software that can help detect, track, and identify people and objects.

Founded in 2014, the company specializes in vehicle location data through license plate-reading cameras run by machine learning and AI that, according to the EFF, are capable of recording up to 1.8k license plates a minute, or up to 14k in a night.

So… just a few more than a human police officer’s eye.

But heavy lies the camera

License readers scan all vehicles in view. And, whether the vehicle holds a fugitive, or a soccer mom, or both, it’s taking your data. 

In the past, certain mishaps have led many to question whether these programs can be properly regulated. Like in 2013, when the Boston Police Department suspended its automatic license-reader program after it accidentally leaked a database of more than 68k vehicles.

Yeah, but it’s just data… right?

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