A high-tech police car will use facial recognition technology to help officers track criminals as it travels at speeds of up to 75mph, researchers in China have said.

The car’s roof-mounted 360-degree camera, unveiled in the south-western city of Chengdu, automatically scans faces within a 60m radius and alerts officers if it spots any suspects, state-run newspaper Sichuan Daily reported.

The vehicle could play a major role in identifying criminals among the country’s 1.3 billion population by scanning faces in a crowd and picking out any matches to the police database.

police car
The new invention has the 360-degree camera mounted on top (AP)

The system, designed by a team at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China’s Police Equipment Joint Research Lab, determines the gender, age and race of each face it scans and compares the image against faces in a police database, the paper reported. If there’s a match, the driver is alerted.

police car
Police in Chengdu, China (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

According to TV footage of the unveiling, the vehicle also has sensors in its trunk which can alert officers if any of their equipment goes missing.

The vehicle will be road tested in China later this year.