Hello, your car is stolen

by Jonathan Paisley, Evening Times – “A car that phones its owner to say it’s being stolen might seem like a product of Q’s lab. And the idea that it could send a text to give its exact location sounds even more far-fetched. But the state-of-the-art alarm is available today – and it’s been created by a Glasgow firm. It uses US military satellites to track the car, then gives directions relative to landmarks, restaurants and bars. The system – reminiscent of talking car KITT in 1980s television show Knight Rider – is installed under the dashboard and uses a standard mobile phone sim card.

The car calls its owner as soon as it is moved and continues to ring until it gets an answer. Drivers can then send a text message to order the alarm to shut down the car’s engine the next time it stops. Owners are sent co-ordinates, via text message, to help police pinpoint the car on a map. And a mini-camera can even be added to take a picture of the thief in the driving seat.

Co-inventor Royce Brisbane, 30, is in talks with T-Mobile to promote the £420 alarm throughout the UK. The former Vodafone engineer has spent the last three years developing the alarm – called The Advanced Theft System. Mr Brisbane, technical director with Future Data Systems based at Charing Cross, said: “No owner with the system will want to hear from their car – but the phone call alerts them to the theft within seconds.

“There is nothing like this anywhere in the country. It is really ahead of its time. “It’s a major breakthrough in security because the public have got so used to ignoring standard car alarms. “The alarm uses a lot of technology that is already on the market but we have invested £100,000 to link it all together.” The system has been designed to make sure the car contacts its owner as quickly as possible. Mr Brisbane added: “Once its stolen, the car will keep ringing every 60 seconds until someone answers.

“If the thieves try to cut the wires, the alarm will work for another 40 hours because of a back-up supply. “If the car is an area with poor reception, it can still be tracked to within 50 yards. “The whole system is triggered by a mercury switch which is in the dashboard. “We plan to adapt the system so owners can receive regular picture message updates.” Future Data Systems was set up in January and has a workforce of five. It normally handles radio communication contracts and its clients include shoe retailer Clarks.

IT is the sort of crime-fighting gadget James Bond would be proud of. A car that phones its owner to say it’s being stolen might seem like a product of Q’s lab. And the idea that it could send a text to give its exact location sounds even more far-fetched. But the state-of-the-art alarm is available today – and it’s been created by a Glasgow firm.

It uses US military satellites to track the car, then gives directions relative to landmarks, restaurants and bars. The system – reminiscent of talking car KITT in 1980s television show Knight Rider – is installed under the dashboard and uses a standard mobile phone sim card.

The car calls its owner as soon as it is moved and continues to ring until it gets an answer. Drivers can then send a text message to order the alarm to shut down the car’s engine the next time it stops. Owners are sent co-ordinates, via text message, to help police pinpoint the car on a map. And a mini-camera can even be added to take a picture of the thief in the driving seat.”

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