New Driver ID Tech Tackles Car Hackers

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Traditionally, car criminals would at least have to smash windows and pick locks to steal your vehicle. Today, however, around 50% of all car thefts in the UK are assisted by electronic devices. Their methods may sound like something out of Gone in 60 Seconds, but this new generation of high-tech car thieves have been keeping one step ahead of the car industry. At least they were until now.

As early as 2012, The Telegraph was reporting on unscrupulous thieves using jammers to prevent drivers from locking their car with remote keys. The criminals would then use a device to create a blank electronic key and drive the car away. With all the necessary equipment available online, and several high performance vehicles using keyless technology, car companies have been working nonstop to find a solution.

However, Motoring Insight Magazine reports that a company named Trackstar has solved the problem with their new device. As well as traditional tracking technology, the Trackstar Advance contains several measures designed to combat electronic theft, including driver identification technology that can tell who is entering the vehicle, and prevent any unauthorised persons from starting the engine. So even if a thief does manage to get in, the Trackstar Advance will override any attempts to move the car.

The system was developed in partnership with the motor insurer's research centre Thatcham, and selected OEM partners. These partners (BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover) will be among the first to offer Trackstar Advance protection in their vehicles, although some independent dealers also offer the technology.

Managing director of Trackstar, John Lawrence, revealed how his company felt 'a responsibility to our customers to work with our OEM partners and Thatcham to provide a telematics-based stolen vehicle tracking system that addresses the emergence of electronic intervention as a growing method of vehicle theft.'

While it is good to know that new technology may soon be stopping crooks in their tracks, we do still see car insurance claims for traditional damages like broken windows, damaged locks and stolen goods. To give your car the best protection against opportunistic crime, always keep valuables out of sight and when using a remote key, and remember to double check that the car locked properly.


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