SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Text messages to immobilise cars

Posted by Admin on January 26, 2009

A report today in the motoring publication Motors Today claims that “Traffic police may soon be able to use text messages to immobilise cars used by criminals.” It goes on to say that “Senior police officers believe new technology could help them overcome some of the dangers of stopping stolen cars and getaway vehicles.”

Apart from the fact that they call this ‘new’ technology, it might just work.

Presumably each car will be registered with a ‘mobile number’ at the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) which only the police will have access to. Then if that vehicle is reported stolen, or is seen involved in a crime, the police can send a message to the number disabling the engine.

Issues of safety will have to be worked out (ie the car can’t be stopped immediately as it might cause an accident), but it seems like a good use of M2M SMS to me. If it is up and running, then it may even prove, finally, to be a good use of location based services.

I’m not sure it will be easy to introduce and will take a long time to get all cars fitted with this system. It will be expensive for old cars to be retro-fitted and in the meantime criminals will just target older cars, which may themselves be less safe. But I think that new M2M uses of mobile connectivity is one of the big growth areas for operators in the future.


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