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Car Insurance

A Blog About Driving and Car Insurance in the USA

Monday, December 05, 2005

An Interesting New Way To Stop Car Thieves In The UK

The UK has a new system available for stopping car theft. It's a system called Auto-txt; with auto-txt, if someone tries to start your car and your cell phone isn't nearby, then your car is automatically reported stolen. So even if a thief manages to steal your keys, chances are that he or she won't get too far with your car. Sounds pretty cool, eh?

Details below in the snippet from today's press release:

"A new car security system that identifies car owners through their mobile phones is set to revolutionize the fight against car thieves.

Auto-txt immediately identifies a car as stolen if the car is started with the keys but the mobile phone is not present. Most significantly, when the police are following a stolen car, Auto-txt allows them to track the vehicle and prevent it restarting using remote wireless technology once the vehicle ignition is turned off.

It is also the first stolen vehicle protection and tracking system to have been awarded Thatcham's Category 5 accreditation, the new insurance industry standard that is supported by the police. Thatcham is the motor insurance industry research centre which aims to develop research and standards which contain or reduce the cost of motor insurance claims.

Auto-txt, which is available now for car owners, has been developed by Richmond Design & Marketing (RDM) Group, a Coventry based automotive supplier that has just raised funds of GBP4.75 million to further develop and roll out the system.

The flaw with most current car tracking systems for stolen cars is that they are activated by the driver's key or a device on the key ring. As a result, thieves are now targeting people's car keys - then using them to drive off in their car. In fact, this is now the UK's fastest growing type of car theft - having risen by 80 per cent since 2002 according to the Association of British Insurers.

Category 5 requires that for improved security you need something else in addition to the keys to prove that you are the car's legal owner. In the case of Auto-txt this is via the BluetoothTM facility on a mobile telephone.

Once a stolen car is stationary with the engine switched off, police can authorize Auto-txt to disable the vehicle using remote control wireless technology - without having to be with the car.

Jim Hammond, of the Association of Chief Police Officers says: 'Being able to remotely prevent a vehicle from being started using a Cat 5 approved device will help us enormously in the fight against stolen vehicle crime and may lead to a reduction in the need for police pursuits. This is one of the most important components of the new Category 5 standard systems as far as we are concerned.

'Category 5 is now the only stolen vehicle theft standard that is both supported by the insurance industry and conforms to police policy,' he added.

The Auto-txt product is from GBP279 for the standard tracking system and from GBP349 if the system incorporates the remote disabling feature. To buy an Auto-txt system (Version 8) or for further advice call 0870-190-0002, alternatively visit the website www.auto-txt.com."

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