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Upfitter's Bench: InterMotive Upfitting Modules

Modules for upfitting ease and officer safety.

InterMotive Upfitting Modules

By Susan Geoghegan

InterMotive is a leading designer and manufacturer of electronic control systems for the law enforcement, emergency response and vocational markets. Most of their products communicate with the chassis via the CAN Bus. They are plug-and-play to the chassis, eliminating cutting of factory wire and simplifying installation. 

InterMotive is ISO 9001 certified by the International Standards Organization, which is the automotive world’s highest quality certification. Incorporated in 1997, InterMotive expanded in 2010 and relocated their corporate headquarters to Auburn, Calif., with a satellite office in Elkhart, Ind.

Surveillance Mode Module

The Surveillance Mode Module (SMM) is an innovative automatic warning system that greatly increases officer safety by warning the driver if someone is approaching the rear of the police vehicle. Utilizing any combination of the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), rear backup sensors, and the backup camera, the system issues an audible warning and automatically raises the driver’s window and locks all doors when someone is detected approaching from the rear of the vehicle. 

This compact, solid state, microprocessor-controlled unit is equipped with InterMotive’s proprietary Intermittent Fault Filter® (IFF) technology that filters out erroneous changes in sensor signals. Designed for Ford Police Interceptor Sedans and SUVs, the following safety conditions must be met in order to activate Surveillance Mode: transmission in park, vehicle speed equal to zero, driver’s door closed, and parking brake not applied. 

Greg Schafer, President of InterMotive, stated, “We are excited to have worked with Ford on such a groundbreaking officer safety system. The SMM gives the officer a much-needed extra set of eyes that can help protect him/her from someone approaching undetected from the back of the patrol vehicle.”

Interceptor Switch Module

The Interceptor Switch Module provides true programmable steering wheel switches for either AUX 1-4 or radio control switches (Volume and Seek) on Ford Interceptors. It offers three operating modes – latching, momentary, and timed (1 second up to 30 minutes) – and a simple single-point “Plug & Play” connection to the chassis.  

This compact package measures 2 inches x 2 inches x 1 inch and requires no cutting of factory wires for easy installation. Switches can be programmed to run lights, sirens, canine alarm, gun lock, and radar, microphone or camera activation. Other features include IFF® technology, built-in diagnostic LEDs, and a solid-state microprocessor controller, with no additional solenoids, cables or brackets. 


EcoLock is a vehicle-secured, smart idle-reduction system that automatically turns the engine off and restarts the engine when needed. The engine is turned off when specific conditions are met: system is activated, key removed from the ignition, vehicle in park, battery voltage normal, and interior temperature within custom range. 

The system allows the operator to remove the key from the ignition, and disables the vehicle if an unauthorized person tries to shift out of park if the system has restarted the engine. Firearms and trunk access are also secured by EcoLock to ensure added safety while the officer is away from the vehicle. The engine automatically restarts when either of the following conditions is met: battery voltage low or interior temperature too warm or too cold. 

Unlike other systems that simply idle the engine, the easy-to-use, microprocessor-controlled EcoLock improves fuel economy, reduces engine wear, and increases intervals between oil changes while improving vehicle safety and function. This eco-friendly system helps to meet state and municipal anti-idling regulations and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. 

With a configurable idle timer, EcoLock conserves fuel without doing anything differently and pays for itself in a short period of time. Schafer noted, “We have fleets that are seeing 60-80 percent reductions in engine idling and see a payback period in only a few months.” EcoLock is designed for the 2006-2011 Ford CVPI and the 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan and PI Utility. 

Upfitter Interface Module

Designed specifically for fleet vehicles, the Upfitter Interface Module (UIM) is a quick, cost-effective way to connect to an OEM chassis for reading vehicle data. With the UIM, upfitters can choose criteria from an OEM Controller Area Network (CAN) data bus, plus additional input signals, to activate or control a broad range of aftermarket equipment. Simple logic statements (AND/OR) allow upfitters to program custom control of specific loads from information available on the OEM chassis data stream. 

The Upfitter Interface Module features up to eight programmable outputs and two switch inputs that can be used as part of the control program. This ­­compact system measures just 4 inches x 2.5 inches x 1 inch and is equipped with “Plug & Play” capability for easy installation. Programming is done through a free, easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is available directly on their website.

Advanced Fast Idle System

The Advance Fast Idle System (AFIS III) is a high idle system with automatic battery charge protection. The system is safe, simple, and reliable, and easily installs by plugging in the AFIS III harness connector to the vehicle data link. It provides “field adjustable” high idle in one of three ways: fully automatic, providing a ground signal, or low BAT charge protect. To operate, the vehicle must be in park and stationary. Stepping on the service brake or terminating the ground disengages the system.

InterMotive’s Dynamic Load Response (DLR) technology monitors engine RPM and maintains a consistent speed at all load conditions, while IFF® technology filters out erroneous changes in sensor signals. The system provides automatic low voltage protection for the entire vehicle when idling, and features a simple “Plug-and-Play” connection to the chassis. 

With enhanced battery protection anytime the vehicle is in Park, on-board LED diagnostics, and individually adjustable RPM levels, AFIS III is the perfect answer for battery protection on Ford CVPI, Interceptor Utility and Sedan, as well as several other makes and models of police vehicles.

HawkEye Reverse Assistance System

The HawkEye Reverse Assistance System (RAS) is a safe, simple and reliable system that helps drivers avoid accidents while backing up. An LED indicator with audible alarm alerts the driver when the vehicle comes within 7 feet of an object, and a digital read-out indicates if the object is on the right or left side. 

The system is automatically activated when the transmission is shifted into reverse and helps reduce accidents from unseen obstacles behind the vehicle while backing up. Ultrasonic sensors cast a 160-degree horizontal arc, providing maximum coverage along the rear and to the corners of the vehicle. When the sensors detect the object, an alarm is provided by the LED Display Panel mounted by the rear view mirror, as well as the distance, in feet, to the object.  

The high reliability of the HawkEye RAS can be attributed to the use of OEM connectors at the vehicle interfaces combined with the use of proven ultrasonic detection technology. The HawkEye sensors are easy to install, with a “Plug & Play” connection from the bumper to the chassis, and LED Display installation is streamlined with the use of simplified “Plug & Play” harness connectors. The system can be easily retrofitted into vehicles without an OEM backup warning system.

Interested agencies can contact InterMotive directly, or can have their vehicle upfitter contact them for tech questions, pricing and lead time.

Susan Geoghegan is a freelance writer living in Naples, Fla. She can be reached at

Published in Law and Order, Feb 2013

Rating : 4.5

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