An officer pulls someone over on the side of the highway. The cop sits in the car a moment, runs the plates—they’re fine—and gets out of the car. As he or she approach the driver’s side window, the driver pulls out a gun, shoots the officer, and flees. This is something close to what happened in Long Island earlier this year, when a Suffolk County police officer was shot during a traffic stop. Unlike the recent traffic-stop shooting in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the suspect in the New York case, police told CBS, was a “known gang member.”

Marios Savvides, a Carnegie Mellon engineering professor, says he’s invented the fix: a long-range iris scanner that can identify someone as they glance at their rear-view mirror. In other words, it’s technology that could potentially identify a dangerous suspect before the cop even gets out of the car. It is the first effective long-range iris scanner, he says. MORE