UAH student's invention could save police department thousands

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A University of Alabama-Huntsville engineering student invented new green technology that could help save the Huntsville Police Department thousands of dollars every year.

Landon Self and his father started Zero RPM a year and a half ago. Their product is simple. When a vehicle goes idle, their technology allows the air conditioning and electricity to stay on without having to use the engine and gas for hours.

"In basically 18 months we went from something that was kind of an idea to something that was more marketable, more useable," said Self.

Self is a senior at UAH, majoring in mechanical engineering. The project started out of his dad's garage.

Several police departments including Tuscaloosa are already using the technology. On Tuesday, the Huntsville Police Department looked at how much money Zero RPM could save them. Self said even some of the nation's largest law enforcement supplying companies want it. The reason is simple. Many law enforcement vehicles idle for hours on scenes costing tax payers tens of thousands of dollars a year.

"Within two years they're going to make their money back and every month from that they're basically saving money," said Self.

But law enforcement isn't the only industry interested. Several universities including the University of Alabama-Huntsville are looking to use Zero RPM to help them balance the budget.

"This is one answer to us trying to save money and use that effectively to serve us students and our student body," said UAH student body President Nandish Dayal.

Zero RPM's next step is to market the technology to the regular consumer. The company's latest model took a few months to build but it fits in the back of most vehicles and is ready to hit the road.

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