Theft Recovery-Tracking the Vehicle

By: Cindy Sly

Theft Recovery-Tracking the Vehicle

In last month’s issue, we covered the Many Facets of Theft Protection. This month, we continue exploring the theft arena by highlighting products used in theft recovery.

Vehicle tracking technology first entered the market more than 25 years ago and has transitioned from a component that had to be hardwired into a vehicle’s electrical system to a small inconspicuously installed device. These devices provide theft recovery to the consumer for their autos and an array of sports vehicles, and they’re not limited to individual customers. Commercial fleet operators and subprime finance companies also have found the devices to be very beneficial.

Each of the participating companies in this summary utilize wireless devices installed out of sight. LoJack uses radio frequency (RF) technology that, when activated, sends out a beacon/ping. Law enforcement vehicles and aircraft equipped with receivers pick up the beacon/ping and are able to pinpoint the vehicle’s location.

LoJack stresses its direct integration with law enforcement. DealershipTracking, Inilex, PassTime and Spireon use Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) or a combination of GPS and cellular technology. They also contact law enforcement, although it is generally through their call centers.

Does one solution work better than the other? Both technologies present adantages and shortcomings. The market started with RF, and the GPS proponents see it as antiquated. They note that RF operates in a limited coverage area and that not every law enforcement vehicle is equipped with a receiver to pick up the activated beacon/ping of an RF device.

On the GPS side, car thieves are progressing nearly as fast as the technology. Just as personal computers and personal records can be hacked,so, apparently, can vehicles. GPS detractors say that sophisticated thieves can circumvent the devices by using their own technology against them.

Concerns over coverage and security aside, both types substantially improve recovery rates by closing the window of time between when a vehicle theft occurs and when authorities are able to begin tracking down the vehicle. Depending on the source, recovery rates with an RF- or GPS-based device can be as high as 90 percent.

Many providers now offer extra features to attract more dealers, fleet managers and finance companies. These includes alerts to notify users when a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed, has left a designated territory, or if a battery charge is low. Fleet messaging and payment due notifications are also available.

Similar to theft protection, theft recovery is a product consumers value. Is it time to consider this part of your product offerings? Read on to see where this technology is today.

Theft Recovery Company Profiles

DealershipTracking.com

Tell us about DealershipTracking.com and the products that are offered.

Our company, based out of Southern California, has been based on the cutting edge of GPS tracking technology and software development since 1999. Our hardware and software solutions allow fleet owners and managers to easily access information to help increase their asset performance, while decreasing unnecessary overhead costs. Since its inception, we have engineered numerous hardware and software applications that have represented significant technological advancements for the GPS vehicle and asset tracking market. Today, due to our strength and foundations established within the fleet arena, we have expanded our solutions within the new vehicle franchise dealership market with a unique offering of “Out Brand the Brand Leader.” At DealershipTracking.com, we provide the dealership branding that benefits the dealerships and their end user customers’ experiences.

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Inilex

Tell us about Inilex and the products that are offered.

Inilex® is a leading provider of aftermarket telemetry solutions for vehicles, powersports and watercraft. Its flagship product is SkyLINK, which offers guaranteed theft-protection by using an advanced combination of GPS, wireless and satellite technologies to track stolen vehicles in real time. SkyLINK far exceeds the reach and functionality of outmoded services based on radio frequency (RF). In conjunction with its industry-leading technology, SkyLINK also has unprecedented relationships with law enforcement agencies, which enables car thieves to be apprehended within minutes, and the vehicle recovered before it is damaged. Inilex also offers SkyLINK PROTECT, a value-added service that allows users to track and monitor their vehicles in real-time from their computers. Owners can use SkyLINK PROTECT to track the car’s speed, location and battery levels, as well as to set alert-based thresholds for all three. This is particularly valuable to concerned family members of teen or elderly drivers, as well as small businesses needing to track their fleets. In addition, SkyLINK PROTECT has a free mobile application, so users can take advantage of the services right on their smartphone, tablet or cellular devices.

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LoJack Corporation

Tell us about LoJack and the products that are offered.

LoJack Corporation is the undisputed leader in Stolen Vehicle Recovery. The company invented the market more than 25 years ago and today continues to offer a recovery system with more than 90 percent success rate for stolen cars, trucks and SUVs. Since its inception, LoJack has helped law enforcement recover more than 300,000 LoJack-equipped vehicles. The company’s success can be attributed to three key differentiators: its proven processes of placing recovery directly in the hands of law enforcement (where it belongs); its use of Radio Frequency technology (which is optimized for recovery because unlike GPS it continues to be effective even if the vehicle is hidden in a concrete garage, a steel container or in dense foliage); and the fact that the system is highly covert so thieves cannot easily find and disengage it.

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PassTime

Tell us about PassTime and the products that are offered.

Headquartered in Littleton, Colorado, PassTime was founded in 1992; the PassTime Suite of Products is designed to improve customer payment performance and reduce default and repossession risks. In 1997, PassTime created its first Automated Collections Technology product. Over the next several years, a Suite of Products evolved that offer GPS tracking, Anti-Theft, wireless, and Automated Collection Technology products and services designed to meet the needs of a highly diverse industry of car dealers and special finance companies. PassTime solutions facilitate higher rates of return on financing based upon improved customer payment performance. PassTime prides itself on a 24/7 Customer Care Support Center for partners, lenders, dealerships, and end-user customers. Over the past decade, PassTime has sustained industry leadership with its innovative products and services.

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Spireon

Tell us about Spireon and the products that are offered.

Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Spireon emerged in 2011 as the industry-leading Mobile Resource Management (MRM) company as a result of the merger of ProconGPS, Inc. with Enfotrace and PFS, LLC., the top three providers in the MRM space. Spireon connects companies to their mobile assets and workforce through game-changing information platforms, giving them the power to manage actionable business intelligence. With over one million active devices in the field today, Spireon provides solutions for automotive dealers and lenders with its trusted brands including GoldStar GPS®, EnfoTrace GPS™ and LoanPlus CMS™ and an exclusive array of products and services that offer trailer and asset intelligence and customized information platforms for enterprise and local fleet management. Inspiring companies to reach new heights with powerful Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based tools, Spireon provides a sturdy foundation on which to optimize performance.

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This article was written by:

- has written 27 posts on P&A Magazine.

Cindy Sly is Managing Editor for P&A eMagazine and Agent Entrepreneur eMagazine. She brings over 10 years of automotive publishing, marketing, and trade show experience.

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The views expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of P&A Magazine or any employee thereof.

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