New advances in telematics are offering the ability to curb auto theft with the technology we already carry around every day: mobile phones.
The way a new system is planned to work: if your vehicle is broken into, you may receive an email to your mobile device informing you of the breach. Video feeds from inside the cabin could appear to give the owner a positive ID on the thief. Integrated map technology tracks the vehicle’s movement, giving moment-to-moment tracking information. From there, the owner of the vehicle can call 911 to alert the police and disable the car’s engine at the touch of a button.
“While this may sound like science fiction, for Toyota, these features are already a reality in Japan with its G-Security system, part of the company’s G-Link, G-Book mX Pro, and G-Book Alpha Pro telematics systems that provide a range of car control and safety services via remote control from a mobile phone or PC,” said Hitomi Larson, an analyst covering automotive electronics at iSuppli Corp. “Furthermore, other OEMs are getting into the game, offering competitive solutions. Nissan, for example, will be the next automaker to introduce a mobile device service to the Japanese market, debuting sometime in 2010. Likewise, there are other mobile device connectivity solutions that will come into the U.S. and global markets in 2010 and 2011.”
Toyota is the first OEM to implement an in-vehicle mobile security system in Japan, but some companies such as Subaru and Mazda are already adapting the same technology. Beyond the capabilities already mentioned, G-Security gives users remote control via a PC or mobile phone to features including door locks, power windows and hazard lamps.
“While it seems futuristic, mobile device in-vehicle connectivity interface is nothing new, with Japanese OEMs accustomed to utilizing mobile phones for off-board service content delivery into cars,” Larson said. “However, several automotive OEMs now are trying to further expand the usage of mobile phones as a direct communication channel to send and obtain vehicle-centric information along with mobile applications.”