The above link points to an article about a new key fob from Ford designed to prevent car thefts. It appears to be a brilliantly simple technology that I hope will 1) actually work and 2) be rolled out by every other car manufacturer.
As highlighted in James Allen’s article, the increase in keyless entry and start systems found in most new cars sold today has led to a corresponding increase in car thefts – up nearly 50% in the last five years! Car thieves target those households that leave their car key fobs just inside their front door and, by extension, close to their parked car. Using a relay system, two thieves work together – one stands next to the car in a driveway while the other stands next to the front door of the house to scan for the continuously active signal from the key fob, likely sitting on a table just inside. The signals then talk to each other and presto, the car will be unlocked faster than you can say, “Dude, where’s my car?”.
Ford’s new fobs have a “sleep mode”. When not being jiggled about in your hand, pocket, handbag etc for a period of 40 seconds, the key fob goes into a sleep mode thus disabling the signal. Once disabled, “Relay thieves” (as they’re known) won’t pick up any signal on their scanners. Genius!
As mentioned, let’s hope this works successfully and gets rolled out by all other car makers.