Although car theft rates have dropped significantly since the early 1990s, car security remains a risk. Unfortunately, in 2020 the risk has increased more than it has for some time. This had led many automakers, including Ford, to take new initiatives in anti-theft technology.
Anti-theft technology over the years
Anti-theft technology has evolved over time. According to Black Knight Tracking, Leach Automobile developed the first anti-theft technology in 1900. The creation was a removable steering wheel. Drivers used to physically bypass these steering wheels when leaving their vehicle, only replacing them when they were ready to “get back behind the wheel”!
From 1914, electric locks became available on some car models. At that time, a Danish prisoner invented the very first car alarm with a simple design. A patent for an immobilizer was issued a few years later. Sure, locks, alarms, and immobilizers have gotten a lot more sophisticated over the years, but they’re still not enough to protect against thieves wanting to evade technology.
In 2020, more than 800,000 vehicles were reported stolen, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). The combined losses that year totaled up to $7.4 billion. So what is the next step in improving the functionality of anti-theft technology.
Ford’s new partnership with ADT
In an effort to outsmart a growing number of would-be car thieves, Ford has partnered with trusted security company ADT. The name of their new anti-theft product is “Canopy”, and it is supposed to revolutionize the protection of vehicles and the property inside. According to CarBuzz, Canopy uses a mix of video technology from Ford and security monitoring from ADT. Essentially, the cars hosting Canopy are types of fortresses with AI-powered “guards” 24/7.
Canopy focuses on pickup trucks and vans, the two vehicles most likely to haul expensive cargo. A camera is installed either in the bed of the van or in the loading area of the van. The linked video shows that the camera is self-installing, making it easy for the homeowner to identify the most secure setup. Automobile owners will also appreciate that this “do-it-yourself” technology eliminates all potential installation costs.
How does the Canopy anti-theft system work?
Canopy uses a variety of built-in and onboard features, such as radar, LTE, GPS, and even acoustic sensors in some cases. These pieces of detection technology integrate with the Canopy Camera, forming a connected surveillance system. Canopy’s AI technology helps reduce false alarms while recognizing signals that could provide warnings of real danger.
The great part of the Canopy anti-theft system is that it can connect directly to the user’s smartphone. A user will receive alerts about suspicious activity that could indicate the vehicle is under threat, including glass breakage and unusual movement around the car. Additionally, the user can live stream direct video footage from a parked vehicle to check for any threats.
Next year, Canopy will release a strangely exciting advancement for the product. Through the magic of a two-way audio system, owners will be able to speak to any potential thieves, warning them to stay away from the vehicle. Still to be revealed: will users be able to change their voice to sound more threatening?
A serious advancement in security technology
Of course, live monitoring and sound warnings can only go so far. The beauty of Canopy is in its integration with ADT. ADT professionals will receive immediate notification if the system detects an important urgent alert. They will have the ability to alert the police and/or the owner, foiling the car theft plot in its tracks.
The Canopy system’s anti-theft technology was a long time coming and a welcome update for an increasingly dangerous world. We can only hope that other car manufacturers will follow suit and adopt other similar safety systems for their commercial vehicles – or even for their passenger vehicles. After all, a fantastic car is no good if you can’t keep it, and no one wants to worry about their car being stolen.
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