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CNET On Cars: Top 5: Anti-theft technologies

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CNET On Cars: Top 5: Anti-theft technologies

3:33 /

Brian Cooley runs down the top 5 anti-theft technologies keeping your car from getting stolen.

[MUSIC] Auto theft is way down over the last 20 years. And you can thank technology for making your car that hardened, target. I'm Brian Cooley with a look at the top five technologies that are keeping your car, yours. Number five is stolen vehicle slowdown. An amazing OnStar technology, a show stopper, but I rank it kind of low because time is of the essence when your car is ripped off. And this kinda cuts the other way. You see, by the time you figure your car is gone, you then have to file a police report. And then use that to get authorization to get the police to talk to OnStar to then go look for your car, and see if they can stop it while the crook is driving it. By the time this happens, your car could well be in a shipping container on its way to a warm, sunny place. Even OnStar claims a mere 250 cars, have been slowed down with a thief at the wheel in five years, but if it's yours, the smug satisfaction is gonna be huge. Number four is GPS tracking. Knowing that your car isn't where it should be, and knowing that quickly, is the essence of dealing with vehicle theft. In the last few years, all of kinds of products have cropped up that let you use GPS, to know, on your phone, if you're car is on the move when you don't want it to be, and where it's moving. And of course this same tech, has the same benefit of monitoring a friendlier class of car thief- Your kids. Number three is theft sensors. Here I am talking about glass break sensors and vehicle tilt sensors. They work right at the moment of theft, either triggering an alarm on the car or a horn or a bell, a shut down of the ignition. And or an alert on your phone. These are much more nuanced sensors, than those dumb vibrations thing that power the standard vehicle alarm horns. It just keeps you awake. Number two remote locking even today, roughly half of all motorists leave their car unlocked. And those cars make up a huge 40% of stolen cars. Drives insurers and cops nuts. So the presence of merely ubiquitous remote locking in cars was the first step, the key pop. Increasingly, higher end cars now auto-lock and unlock by the proximity of your key pop, just leaving it in your pocket. And now growing fast is the use of apps that can check and change the lock status of your car right from your phone, anywhere in the world. [MUSIC] But people just like to leave their cars unlocked. Before I get you to number one, you might ask, where's the car alarm. In hell I hope. It had its day as a deterrent a long time ago. But now it is generally accepted that people are desensitized, to traditional alarms. As cars continue to become connected, I look to a day when a car alarm moves from blowing a horn under the hood, to giving you a notification on an app. Now, that's meaningful. The number one technology that's keeping cars from getting ripped. Our smart ignitions. Most thieves wanna drive your car away, and it wasn't long ago that you could do that easily by twisting two wires under the dash. Then came ignition locks. You could still hotwire the car, but only drive it in a straight line. Not real useful. More recently, we're enjoying the fruit of smart keys, which do this little unique digital handshake. Between the car's ignition and the key, before anything's gonna start. It has made a huge different in theft rates. The downside is that you've now got, a $300 key you have to replace, it used to be a $2 blank. High tech cars and modern driving, that's what we do at cnetoncar.com. I'm Brian Cooley, thanks for watching. [MUSIC]

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