Evildoers, fear the machines
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
When we talk about M2M monitoring and tracking technologies, we are not used to think of them beyond asset tracking and smart transport solutions. But these technologies have great potential in other uses, such as crime prevention.
In this blog we already mentioned the solution provided by OnStar, that allows remote stoppage of stolen vehicles, but there are other companies that are specifically specialized in stolen vehicle tracking.
Such is the case of LoJack, a company whose business uses a technology of remotely activated transponders that mark the position of a stolen vehicle so the police can track it right after being hijacked. Instead of using GPS, which requires a direct line of sight to the sky, it uses a radio frequency that can pick up signals through obstacles.
LoJack provides an useful tool that has helped the police to successfully recover cars, motorbikes and even a backhoe, but its not the only one. Many police departments in the USA have been adapting M2M to fight a wide range of crimes.
For example, years ago the New Jersey State Police Department (NJSP) began using M2M to track stolen goods and criminal suspects. The solution uses a combination of GPS and cellular communications that allows to disrupt crimes in progress, make arrests, and recover stolen goods.
BETTER THAN KITT
In this last case, probably one of the most ambitious projects is Vauxhall’s super-police car. This vehicle, a hybrid Ampera model, is equipped with the latest in M2M technology that makes it the bane of criminals.
Among the technology found in this fully operational mobile police station, there is a set of four exterior digital cameras providing surveillance at the scene of an incident; an internal camera for facial recognition connected to the UK’s Police National Database that automatically reports on whether the passenger has a criminal record or not in a matter of seconds.
The car also features real-time incident alert and management dashboard software and an automatic number-plate recognition systems, very similar to that used by other connected police car, codename Kate, which is being used by New Zealand’s police.
Personal safety and keeping our goods from prying eyes and hands is an important task that can be done better with M2M. Law-enforcement corps are aware of the potential of M2M in crime-fighting, to the misfortune of thieves.