‘Communicate’ with your car using atrac technology
7 November 2003
‘Communicate’ with your car using atrac technology
Imagine being able to ‘communicate’ with your car via your cellular phone - receiving alerts, sending commands, and making it almost impossible for thieves to get away with it.
atrac Limited has launched a world first - a combined security, asset and fleet management system that uses Telecom’s advanced CDMA1X cellular network to communicate to and from your car, truck, boat or other valuable asset. This and other critical technical developments have enabled atrac to introduce high performance services at a very low cost.
By combining integrated Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and the CDMA1X network, atracSecure provides a protective cocoon around your valuable assets, instantly notifying the atrac Control Centre in the event of a theft, tampering, tow-away or collision.
The most tested and certified device of its kind in the world, atracSecure operates independently of a vehicle’s computer systems, enabling fast installation and avoiding any related vehicle warranty issues. Installation is as simple as fitting a rugged, well-concealed device called a Vehicle Command Unit (VCU), which gathers key information and transmits it back to the atrac Control Centre for immediate action.
A wide range of events or alerts can be sent to the Control Centre, including the exact location of the vehicle and the type of incident (theft or other tampering, removal from a designated area or virtual perimeter, tow away, panic alarm or accident) and all details required to safely identify and return the asset to its owner.
The CDMA connection enables instant 2-way communication, so that in the event of a theft the vehicle can be safely bought to a halt, preventing the need for a dangerous high-speed pursuit. The owner can also communicate back to the vehicle via SMS or the WAP browser using their (and only their) cellular phone. Remote commands include lock / unlock doors arm / disarm the system, activate / deactivate the siren, activate / deactivate the lights, and Remote Safe Stop.
A low monthly fee provides access to the 24 X 7 atrac Control Centre where communication between the Police, the Response and Recovery Team and the vehicle owner is managed. Once the atrac Control Centre receives an alarm and confirms the theft of a vehicle, recovery procedures are instantly initiated with the Police and atrac’s nation-wide professional security firm. If your car, boat or other asset is stolen, the professionally trained Response and Recovery Team will be on their way within minutes of the alert.
The atrac accident detector provides further peace of mind - atrac’s Response and Recovery Team members are level 3 security professionals, well trained in accident and emergency procedures, First Aid and CPR. Customer details in the atrac Control Centre database will alert them to any medical issues that may be relevant in an accident.
A key benefit for customers is atrac’s relationship with IAG New Zealand Limited, trading under the State and NZI insurance brands. Buyers of some performance brands can be faced with theft excesses as high as 30% of the price of the car, and in the highest risk categories insurance companies have been forced to refuse cover altogether. As atrac substantially reduces the risk to insurers by dramatically increasing the chances of recovery, atrac’s insurance partner is able to offer benefits to atrac customers.
Introduction to atrac’s
Products and Services
atrac is a potent asset management and security system that uses Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and advanced mobile communications technology (CDMA) to comprehensively manage vehicle fleets, and to protect and locate vehicles and other valuable assets. Closely supported by IAG New Zealand Limited, Telecom, the Police and the Giltrap Motor Group, the atrac services offer considerable benefits to our customers.
Low cost structure
A nationwide response and recovery service
Simplicity of use and ease of installation
The most reliable communications system with the widest coverage
The most rigorously tested, certified and rugged unit
The strength of atrac’s technology and product proposition was recently confirmed when State Farm insurance, the insurer of 20% of all vehicles in the United States, entered an agreement to deploy the technology exclusively throughout its customer base.
General The atrac System comprises a small, rugged in-vehicle hardware device (Vehicle Command Unit, or VCU), which gathers certain key information from the vehicle and transmits that information back to atrac’s control centre via Telecom’s advanced CDMA1X networks. A vast array of information can be gathered and reported, including:
Exact location of the vehicle
(presented using sophisticated mapping software)
Theft or other tampering
Removal from a designated area or virtual perimeter
If atrac’s 24 X 7 control centre receives an alarm and confirms the theft of the vehicle, recovery procedures are instantly initiated with the Police and atrac’s nation-wide professional security firm.
Insurance Advantage Risk of vehicle theft is reflected in insurance underwriting costs and theft excess. Some high-risk vehicles are attributed theft excesses as high as 30% of the purchase price. In some cases, such as HSV and Subaru, insurers have been forced to refuse coverage altogether.
atrac substantially reduces the risk to insurers, by dramatically increasing the chances of recovery. In the UK for example, nearly £200 million worth of vehicles and equipment have been restored to their owners.
The reduced risk means that atrac’s insurance partner IAG New Zealand is able to offer customers a range of benefits including reduced theft excess.
Monitoring The low monthly fee includes the 24 X 7 monitoring service. The atrac Control Centre manages the communication between the Police, the Response and Recovery Team and the vehicle owner.
Due to the use of CDMA1X technology (a world first) and smart deployment of the monitoring functions, atrac is able to provide an effective nationwide service at a substantially lower rate than other systems that have been developed.
Response and Recovery The Recovery component is managed by Berakas Corporation, an international security firm whose recent responsibilities include the Royal Family of Brunei, Team Alinghi and Ernesto Bertarelli’s family.
Each member of the Response and Recovery Team is trained in first aid and CPR, and can respond appropriately in the event of an atrac customer’s involvement in an accident.
Note that the customer will be charged a recovery fee, which is covered by most insurance policies. The recovery fee will be between $200 and $400, depending on the location of the vehicle and the means of transport required to restore it to the owner.
Remote Control The VCU can receive and execute various remote commands from the control centre or from the owner’s cellular phone including:
Arm / disarm the
Safe Stop: Shutting down the vehicle safely, while maintaining steering, brakes, lights etc. The sensation is like running out of gas.
Activate / deactivate the siren.
Activate / deactivate the lights.
Lock / unlock doors.
Transmission Triggers atracSecure is designed to transmit information back to the control centre and / or owner’s cell phone when various exceptions arise, including:
into the doors, boot, bonnet.
Passive alarm arming after predefined time period (in case that the door was left open etc).
Motion sensor triggered during break-in.
Hot wire: Attempt to bypass the alarm system.
Ignition while the alarm is armed.
Towing alert: real time identification of a change in the vehicle's location when the engine is off.
Wrong unarming code was received a few times from the remote control (for code-based remote controls).
Main power disconnection or low input voltage.
GPS antenna disconnection.
Once every 36 hours (or other predefined number of hours) – for verifying that the unit hasn’t been tampered with and is fully functional.
Customer Privacy It is important to emphasise that the VCU is not a tracking system per se, as it does not transmit location data to the control centre until one of the exceptional events occurs.
Driver Protection When any of the following events occur, the unit will start transmitting:
(optional feature): used in real time for “Life threatening”
situations, break downs etc.
Accident Detector: reporting vehicle accidents
Customer Database Each customer account includes personal details including:
Any relevant medical conditions
Where / how the car is to be transported after an accident or theft
When an event is triggered at the control centre, these details are presented on the monitoring screen. The control centre operator passes this to the police and the Response and Recovery Team.
atrac Extra Mile A key atrac differentiator will be the customer experience during and after a theft or accident. The customer database will include a range of details and instructions that are specific to the customer, such as who to contact in the event of an accident or theft, what to do with the car etc.
The atrac Response and Recovery team will carry insurance forms, and instructions on what to do after an accident. All security team members are level 3 security professionals, and are therefore trained in accident and emergency procedures, First Aid and CPR.
Modes of Operation atrac is designed to operate as a standalone security unit, including alarms and sensors, or (more usually) in conjunction with factory-installed systems.
Independent mode: The atrac VCU is
responsible for vehicle alarm, driver identification,
detecting unauthorized car entry and other emergency
conditions and reacting to those conditions.
Semi-independent: For vehicles with original remotely controlled lock and unlock and entry identification.
When the siren is active or the system transmits a theft transmission, the unit automatically immobilises the vehicle.
Ruggedness and Certifications atrac is the most tested and certified device of its kind in the world. Certifications include:
ISO9001 / 9002
To ensure ruggedness and longevity, the devices have been rigorously tested in a world-renowned armaments testing facility for sinusoidal vibration and mechanical shock.
Simplicity Some other systems require the hardware to be integrated into the vehicles’ computer systems. This creates a number of barriers, including:
Warranty issues, both real and
An installation process that can last an entire day.
The requirement for specific approval from each manufacturer
atracSecure system avoids these critical issues. The hardware is vehicle independent, and simply attaches to the standard wiring harness in order to monitor and communicate with the necessary vehicle functions. The result is a low installation time of 3 hours and the avoidance of warranty issues. This factor is crucial to acceptance of atrac by vehicle importers and distributors.
Stock Protection The theft of vehicle stock from a distributor’s premises can seriously affect insurance premiums and excesses.
With atracLMVD, all stock or floor plan vehicles can be secured and tracked, without hindering their ability to move the vehicles freely within the premises as required. Simply install the device in minutes, and atrac establishes a virtual perimeter around the premises. The moment an atrac protected vehicle is removed from that perimeter, an alarm is sent to the customer and to the atrac control centre. In the event that the vehicle has been stolen, atrac can track and recover it.
Proactive Service Vehicle dealers can add a proactive service level for their customers by utilising some of the VCU’s fleet management functionality to notify the workshop via e-mail when:
Service is due
A range of mechanical warnings such as low Oil pressure or break light failure.
General The VCU is also a comprehensive fleet management tool, which provides the customer with such detailed batched or real time information that they can instantly identify areas where they can improve supply chain performance and increase their bottom line.
Because of atrac’s low comparative cost, even small fleets are able to achieve a level of control that would normally be reserved for larger corporates.
atracFleet offers the same functionality as atracSecure in addition to the extensive functions listed below. Most fleets will only need a limited selection of these functions, but they are all available to each fleet customer if appropriate.
atracFleet customers will not be monitored by the atrac control centre. If a vehicle is stolen, the customer can contact the call centre, and after providing the appropriate customer security details, the control centre will manage the recovery of the vehicle according to the usual process. A recovery cost will be charged in each case.
Fleet Management Functionality atracFleet enables fleet managers to gather a vast array of information about their vehicles in real time or via a batched reporting process:
The ability to view the vehicles’
locations on a map nationwide.
Ability to view the vehicles from any Internet connected device (PC, PDA etc) via a password protected website
Ability to set a series of speed limit rules. This will allow reporting on the number of times a driver has gone over a certain speed, and / instant alerts when a certain speed limit is breached
Ability to establish routes and rules to alert and / or report on route deviation.
The ability to track mileage.
The ability to report on distance travelled on non RUC attracting roads
Measure distance from key on to key off, and report by driver and / or vehicle.
Sensor to monitor engine RPMS. This will allow reporting on the number of times a driver has gone over a certain rev limit. This is available provided the communication from the engine to the Tachometer is an analogue signal.
Ability to generate a range of reports by driver and by vehicle. Pin pads are installed in the vehicles, and the engines remain immobilised unless the driver enters the PIN.
The ability to set geofences to alert when a vehicle goes out of pre-defined boundaries.
The ability set waypoint rules to alert when a vehicle:
o Has not left a
certain area by a certain time; or
o Remains in a defined area for an excessive amount of time; or
o Takes an excessive / unusual amount of time to travel between planned stops
Crash detector to alert on
Emergency button for the drivers to request assistance or communication.
Alerts for various mechanical warnings including low oil pressure, high water temperature, brake light failure, low battery and other warnings.
Alerts when a certain compartment (or series of compartments) is opened.
Idling time: Reports on the vehicle remaining stationery over a defined period with the engine running.
The ability to design and generate reports using Crystal Reports.
Batched transmission option, allowing up to 22 position, vehicle speed and status readings in one transmission.
Recording and storing of up to 2000 positioning locations, velocities and vehicle statuses. Approximate storage of 18 days based on one position each 5 min for 8 hours a day. Utilised where there is no cellular coverage.
Option to set the unit to transmit at intervals of between 10 seconds to 24 hours.
Vehicle operating status provided at each transmission, including Ignition on / off, current velocity, accurate odometer reading etc
The atracFleet system operates an ASP (Application Service Provider) model, with each customer able to access the application from an internet connected PC with the client application installed.