The year 2020 will not leave us without ironies, along with its other gifts. At a time when we’re driving so little that auto insurance companies are partially refunding policy payments, radar detector manufacturers are revamping their best and brightest units. Valentine released its V1 Gen2 detector last month, and Radenso promises its coming Theia will be “the first radar detector using AI.” In between them, and also brandishing the broadsword of artificial intelligence, Escort has just launched its Redline 360C as a sort of ‘One Ring to Rule Them All’ unity of its Redline and 360c technologies. The new big kahuna packs a Blackfin DSP chip with 25 percent more processing power than the formerly top-dog Redline EX, and 360-degree detection at twice the range across all bands and instant-on radar. Escort claims the Redline 360c has “the longest detection range in the market.”
Vortex Radar, a deeply thorough detector enthusiast site, sat in on the webcast Escort held to launch the new unit. The Redline 360c is built on a new platform called M12 utilizing a new software architecture for filtering, and fits three antennas with low-noise amplifiers, two in front that monitor X, K, and Ka bands, the rear antenna looking out for K and Ka. These also provide improved awareness of modulated radar systems police use to fool detectors, at the same time as their design supposedly makes the unit invisible to police technology used to detect radar detectors.
On top of the faster processing resulting in fewer false alarms, the detector features low-speed muting and a Telit GPS receiver that learns to exclude fixed-position false alarms found along your route like a store’s K-band automatic door openers. The learning process is also automatic, obviating the need for the user to press a button. The Escort also ignores K-band radar-based in-vehicle technology like collision-avoidance systems and automatic cruise control.
While Bluetooth-enabled and pairable with a smartphone, the Redline 360c can improve its knowledge in real time with updates via a 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi connection and communication with the cloud for community alerts through the Escort Live app. Think of it as Waze for the detector community, which Escort says counts more than a million users producing more than 100 million vehicle-to-vehicle driver alerts every year.
A multi-color OLED screen and directional arrows communicate threat signal strength and direction, as well as all of the unit’s status information.
The Escort Max 360c can be found at or near the top of numerous Best Of detector lists, occasionally ceding the top spot only because of its $649 price when the Radenso Pro M is $449 and the Valentine 1 G2 is $499. The Redline 360c stretches the price differential by another $100, being priced at $749, although trading in an Escort can knock up to $120 off that price. Even at $750, however, it’s less expensive than a ticket and higher insurance premiums, or the priceless time taken to attend traffic school.