The world of vehicle security software has changed dramatically over the years.
When our company formed in 1992, the industry looked very different. Vehicles didn’t even need to be produced with in-built immobilisers. Now, they are factory-fitted as standard.
A huge component of this evolution is in tracking devices. Today’s technology used to track and recover vehicles is far more sophisticated than back in the 1990s. More than this, it is more versatile than ever.
Tracking technology is now capable of delivering tons of meaningful data to organisations about their fleet’s performance. How safely drivers are travelling. Which routes they are taking. How much fuel their vehicles consume. When fault warnings come up. The list goes on and on.
Tracking has advanced, supplying valuable information to companies to improve performance and drive efficiency. However, this has over time pushed it further away from its original purpose – protecting against theft.
In this article, we’ll explain why the adaptability of tracking devices has become problematic, and why a dual tracking approach offers an effective solution for greater vehicle security.
Understanding the tracking problem
In order to gather the Driver ID and CAN bus data that companies want to maximise performance, the telematics systems they employ can consequently compromise security.
Much like the technology, car thieves have also evolved over the years. Through scanning devices, they can identify the data being communicated by a vehicle or plant equipment and use this to find the location of the device and remove it. Not to mention the fact that it is easier than ever to search online for information about where anti-theft devices are housed in OEM vehicle manuals and specifications.
In this way, the data being generated actively works against the security of the vehicle. This is why we believe that dual tracking is the way forward, offering an additional layer of defence to secure vehicles, rather than bundle everything into one system which, if identified, makes the asset vulnerable to theft.
There are also advancements in vehicle technology to consider. Keyless access has had a major impact on vehicle security, with analysis by LV Insurance finding that this has been a huge factor in the rise in vehicle thefts in the past few years.
Why this is a big issue right now
Vehicle theft is undeniably on the rise, with security a hot topic among our clients. Research by AX revealed that between 2016-2019, vehicle theft grew 21% on average across the UK, with some areas like Nottinghamshire seeing spikes of 60%. In 2018-2019, over 150,000 cars, vans and motorcycles were reported as stolen – a 56% increase compared to four years ago.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg:
- There was a marked increase in the theft of commercial vehicles and plant during the April COVID-19 lockdown
- Similarly the lockdown also led to a 50% surge in construction site crime rates
- Between 2015 and 2019 van thefts increased by 45% across the UK
- 1 in 12 motorbikes was reported as stolen in London in 2019
With the previous recession in the UK leading to a rise in theft-related crimes, it is reasonable to assume that this might be reflected in the coming months and years. This makes the security of vehicles and plant equipment a huge priority for companies moving forward.
Because it’s vital to keep in mind that the repercussions of theft in the current landscape extend far beyond the cost of buying a replacement vehicle (even if this is covered by insurance):
- The supply chains of vehicle manufacturers are stretched due to COVID-19, extending lead-in times for replacements to arrive.
- Many companies modify vehicles and equipment for the exact needs of their business, all of which need to be acquired and installed, costing time and money.
- Some will even develop driver-specific customisations that again will have to be sourced and reintroduced to their teams.
With all of this in mind, now is definitely the time for the conversation around dual tracking to take centre stage.
How dual tracking makes the difference
Companies understandably don’t want to lose the valuable data their telematics solutions are collecting to benefit the business. But, they also don’t want this to come at the expense of their vehicle’s safety.
That is where dual tracking offers the best of both worlds. By introducing a second tracking device to a vehicle or plant equipment, this provides another vital layer of protection against them being stolen and enabling them to be recovered, much in the same way your home might employ multiple alarms and cameras to defend against burglars.
In the past, there were many barriers to introducing multiple tracking systems. Devices were more expensive, both to initially acquire and in terms of combined power consumption. They would be too big or have too many wires or connections to feasibly fit them on one vehicle.
Now, our Skyline software has evolved to overcome these barriers and deliver truly comprehensive protection. Through Skyline Secure, we have brought tracking full circle, back to its roots as a true anti-theft solution.
Our approach to ensuring this security is two-fold:
- The low-power consumption of the Skyline hardware
- The sophistication of our installation process
In order to protect against the threat of scanning by vehicle thieves, Skyline Secure provides timed reports at 5 hour intervals, rather than passing data along constantly. This means the vast majority of the time it appears to be off, with the reports providing reassurance that it’s always working.
This means that the window for thieves to use this to locate the device is incredibly limited. Plus this low-power consumption makes it far more cost-effective to run alongside a vehicle’s primary telematics system, while still doing everything it needs to do for our clients.
The real secret to the success of dual tracking is in how expertly the second device is installed. You would be surprised at how quickly and easily modern car thieves can remove the glove box from a car while it is moving, and any security systems contained within it.
For this reason, covertness is key with any secondary tracking device. Our installation team works by a strict playbook highlighting the optimal locations for a dual tracking solution, so it is practically impossible for this to be removed or interfered with while driving.
All of our installers are directly hired by our team, rather than brought onboard by third parties, so we can personally guarantee that dual tracking is handled completely covertly, leaving no margin for error.
Make vehicle security stronger with dual tracking
Skyline Secure is just one of several ways we can help you make vehicle security more robust throughout your fleet. But, the key message to take away from this article is how dual tracking is the way forward for companies keen to protect and recover stolen vehicles and equipment.
The added defence offered by dual tracking gives you total peace of mind over the safety of your assets, while you can continue to gather great data to support the future of your fleet.
If you would like to know more about our approach to dual tracking, stolen vehicle recovery and all aspects of vehicle security, get in touch and we’ll talk you through our software solutions. Alternatively, you can try Skyline for yourself by requesting your free demo.