Vehicles may be one of every person’s most prized possessions. It has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. In fact, statistics show that there are more than 280 million registered vehicles in the US. But this also entails a greater responsibility of keeping them safe and secure, not just from thieves but also from accidents.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that there were over 810,000 vehicles stolen in 2020 alone. That’s almost an increase of 90,000 thefts compared to the previous year. This shows that security systems need to be more sophisticated to keep up with criminals.
Fortunately, technology has also been evolving to help improve vehicle security systems. Different features have been added to make vehicles harder to steal and break into. Here are some ways technological advancements helped improve vehicle security over the years.
1. Keyless entry
One of the most popular features in vehicles nowadays is keyless entry and ignition. This allows drivers to unlock and start their car without using a physical key. Instead, they only need a key fob or a smartphone with the right app.
This feature became available in high-end vehicles in the early 2000s but has since trickled down to even the most basic models. While it is a convenient feature, it also adds an extra layer of security. Physical keys can be easily lost or stolen. But if you have keyless entry, a thief would need your key fob or smartphone to be able to break into and start your car.
The technology made it more difficult for thieves to steal vehicles as they now need to have the key fob or smartphone with them. Even if they manage to break into the car, they wouldn’t be able to drive it away without the key fob or smartphone.
2. Vehicle tracking
Another way technology has helped improve vehicle security is through vehicle tracking. This feature allows you to track your car’s location in real-time. There are various ways to do this, but the most common is through GPS.
Most high-end vehicles come with factory-installed GPS tracking systems. This GPS technology doesn’t only help track the vehicle. For example, if you own a vehicle rental business, you can integrate a car disabling device into the vehicle’s security system and GPS. If a car is stolen, you can remotely disable it. Companies that use GPS tracking for their fleet of vehicles can also track the location and speed of their drivers. This helps them ensure that their drivers follow the speed limit and do not drive recklessly.
Geofencing is another way to track vehicles. This feature uses GPS to create a virtual boundary around an area. Once the vehicle goes beyond the boundary, your car will notify you. Nowadays, GPS technology has become more affordable, and even basic models come with GPS tracking.
An immobilizer is a device that prevents a car from being started without the right key. This is usually integrated into the ignition system. The way it works is when you insert the key, it sends a signal to the engine control unit. The engine will only start if the signal matches what’s stored in the ECU. If not, the engine won’t start.
Immobilizers became a necessity. This is because most vehicle thefts were done by hot-wiring the ignition. But with an immobilizer, even if a thief manages to hot-wire the ignition, the engine won’t start without the right key.
4. Mobile app integration
In recent years, there has been a trend of integrating mobile apps with vehicle security systems. This allows drivers to control various aspects of their cars using their smartphones remotely. For example, they can lock and unlock the doors, start the engine, and even honk the horn.
Some apps also have features that can help you find your car if it’s lost or stolen. For example, the Tesla app uses GPS to show your car’s location. You can also use the app to remotely activate the alarm and honk the horn to help you find it.
The BMW ConnectedDrive app also allows you to control your car remotely. But it goes further by offering features like live traffic information and parking assistance. Mobile app integration is a relatively new technology, but it has already made car security systems more convenient and effective.
Cameras have become increasingly common in vehicles in recent years. They are usually integrated into the vehicle’s security system. Front and rear cameras are the most common, but there are side cameras and dash cams.
The main purpose of cameras is to provide evidence of an accident. They can also be used to monitor the driver’s behavior. For example, the footage can be used as evidence if a driver is speeding or driving recklessly. In some cases, drivers can also use cameras to deter crime. For example, if you have a dash cam, it can discourage thieves from breaking into your car, knowing that they will be caught on camera.
With technology constantly improving, vehicle security systems are also becoming more sophisticated. This is good as it helps deter thieves and gives owners peace of mind knowing that their prized possessions are well-protected. Thanks to technological advancements, vehicles are now harder to steal and break into.