The best ways invention and technology are tackling car theft

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There is an intense battle between car thieves and car manufacturers. With the advent of technology, most manufacturers now develop their vehicles with heavy inputs from software engineers.

Hence, it has forced car thieves to reinvent their theft skills as the use of pliers and hangers becomes unnecessary.

A team of researchers led by University of Birmingham computer scientist Flavio Garcia discovered a hack in 2013 that allows Volkswagen cars to be turned on without having to use a key.

Later in 2016, Garcia and a new team of researchers discovered how to hack the door system of Volkswagen cars released since 1995.

As part of their research, scientists from the University of Birmingham and Kasper & Oswald, an engineering company, have discovered a way to unlock nearly 100 million cars, including Volkswagen, Ford, Opel, Peugeot, Nissan , Fiat, Mitsubishi, Citroen, Romeo and Alfa. .

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately $7.4 billion was lost to auto theft in 2020. At least 810,400 vehicles were reported missing in the same year.

The pandemic, which is significantly affecting the global economy, has been identified as one of the main contributing factors to car thefts.

As seen in the case of Volkswagen’s vulnerabilities, the manufacturer cannot ensure the optimal security of any car. Over the years, different inventions and technologies have been used to mitigate car thefts.

GPS tracker

The discreet installation of a GPS tracker in a vehicle can help detect its location in the event of theft. The GPS tracking device uses the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) network.

The device sends unique signals to the network, after which the data provided is used to calculate the current location, direction, time and speed of the tracked vehicle.

Anti-radio signal pouches

Many cars today have the keyless function. Manufacturers developed this in their attempt to foil thieves who learned to start a car by shorting the wires running under the dash.

As usual, car thieves have also gotten smart. Some of them use devices that could trick a car into transmitting a coded message from the key. Obtaining the key allows them to act as if they are in possession of the key. With this, they could unlock the door and start the car without any problem.

When the key is kept in pouches that repel radio signals such as Faraday pouches, the device used by auto thieves will not be able to obtain the required coded message.

PIN Start

In an attempt to combat keyless car theft, some car manufacturers, such as Tesla in some models of their vehicle, have incorporated a four-digit PIN function. This extra security is required after the keyless technology unlocks the car.

Without a correct pin code, the car will refuse to start whether the key is nearby or not.

Automotive tracking platform

Many online platforms are created by government and private individuals/companies for stolen vehicles.

A simple search of the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will cross-check the database to see if the car has been stolen.

The VIN is made up of 17 characters – a mixture of numbers and capital letters, and it is unique for each car. From the VIN, you can identify the characteristics of the vehicle, the manufacturer and the plant in which it was assembled.

Tonneau cover

Tonneau covers such as the hard bed cover for F150 protect the loads in your truck bed against theft. They are made from strong materials like fiberglass.

Soft tonneau covers, while not as strong, can prevent thieves from spotting luggage in a trunk bed.

Steering wheel brake lock

The lock is designed to restrict movement of the steering wheel and brake pedal. Car thieves can break into your car, but with the steering and brake pedal locked, it would be impossible to drive the car.

It is usually made from materials that can withstand hammer blows and cut attempts.

car alarms

Car alarms are equipped with sensors that go off whenever there is a change in your vehicle’s position. They can contain between two and ten sensors. Some of the sensors include;
● Door sensors. When active, the sensor alerts the alarm whenever there is a change in the position of the car door. This is why when the door is opened; the alarm goes off.
● Impact sensors. Thieves knowing about the door sensor installed in a car can instead break the window to gain access. Car alarms with impact sensors can detect this.
● Microphone sensors. Car thieves may decide to use low impact force to gain access to the car. A microphone sensor triggers the alarm whenever an unusual sound is detected.
● Inclination sensor. A car thief afraid of setting off the alarm and alerting a car owner may decide to drive them away from the scene using a tow truck. If the vehicle has a tilt sensor, this will trigger the alarm as the orientation is sure to change.
● Proximity sensor. This gives the thief no chance to approach because the alarm goes off every time an object gets close to the car.

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