Tech Features That Keep Your Car Safe

Tech Features That Keep Your Car Safe

Using the built-in safety technology is frequently the best option when it comes to taking additional precautions to protect your car. Even though onboard computers and ECUs were standard equipment in the majority of automobiles produced after 1996, it wasn't until the early 2010s that we began to see vehicles commonly use computers for functions other than engine management. And as technology improved, computers' primary functions shifted from engine management to vehicle security. Let's examine these seven contemporary automotive security measures and how they shield both us and our vehicles from harm.

1. Immobilizers

An immobilizer is a feature that almost all new cars over the last 20 years have. For authentication, this system leverages wireless encryption between your keys and the car. If you've seen a vehicle theft movie from the 1980s or 1990s, you're definitely already familiar with hot wiring. Wires under the dash are pulled out by thieves, who then short two specific wires to start the vehicle. Alternately, they force the ignition switch and start the vehicle with a regular key or a screwdriver. Immobilizers were added to keys to help stop these kinds of thefts. This method transmits a coded message using tiny chips that are implanted into car keys. The engine will start when the car receives the proper coded message. However, if it doesn't get the acode, the automobile won't turn on.

2. Vehicle Tracking Systems

Drivers have been utilizing GPS technology for navigation ever since the military made it available for commercial and civilian usage. The first vehicle with this was the Mazda Eunos Cosmos, however it was only sold in Japan. With the invention of cellular communication, this technology allowed fleet managers to gather vehicle location information in real-time. It also allowed the car to know its whereabouts internationally. When this service was first introduced in the early 1990s, it was costly, unreliable, and necessitated large electrical modules. However, as technology advanced, GPS became more affordable, precise, and portable. Our autos also developed the ability to determine their location as smartphones did. You can locate a lot of high-end autos using app integration. If you just drive an inexpensive vehicle, it most likely lacks this feature. However, if you want to secure your car, you can buy outside GPS trackers.

3. In-Vehicle Security Services

Our automobiles have been monitoring different engine and onboard systems ever since the OBD-II port became required in vehicles. The ECU can create a picture of what is occurring to your car by collecting data from all sources and analyzing it. In-vehicle security services function in a similar manner. Your car will automatically phone its service provider to see how you're doing when events like airbag deployment or a significant drop in engine oil pressure activate its sensors. OnStar was one such service offered by GM. Other automakers eventually used the same strategy; Ford had Sync, BMW had BMW Assist, and Mercedes created mbrace.

4. Dashcam

Small, portable, yet high-quality recording devices were revolutionized when GoPro released the first HERO action camera. These attributes made them perfect for installation on a dashboard or windshield, where their small footprint won't obstruct vehicle operation. As dashcams grew more affordable and accessible, more and more drivers purchased and installed them for security. These gadgets record your driving, making it useful for documenting traffic accidents and other situations. Dashcams offer documentation, which makes them essential, particularly for insurance claims. In the event of an accident, the video footage can be used to establish liability. If you're on the market for a new one, check out our dashcam buying tips since they come in very handy in practically any circumstance.

5. Sentry Mode

For self-driving, the majority of the newest Tesla models include cameras directed in each of the four directions. However, Sentry Mode is another application for these cameras. All Tesla Model 3 vehicles have this feature as of 2019. Sentry Mode makes use of the car's many sensors to find motion around it. If it detects a slight threat, Tesla's Sentry Mode switches from being in standby to alert. The vehicle will begin recording footage and indicate that it is doing so on the dashboard. The car will go into alarm mode if it detects a serious threat, such a smashed window or attempted break-in. Although Tesla is the only company using this technology at the moment, you can anticipate that other businesses will adopt a similar approach to help secure customers and automobiles.

6. PIN to Start

Manufacturers began putting additional wireless technologies into key fobs after they learned that immobilizers reduced the number of auto theft events. Today's remote car keys can now automatically unlock a vehicle and even start it, as opposed to only sending an encrypted code in the past. This practical function did have one drawback, though: keyless car theft. In this crime, the car is tricked into believing the key is nearby by replicating the remote control's weak signal. By doing so, the door will unlock, making it much simpler to break into and steal cars.

Tesla now provides the PIN to Start option as a result. Some Tesla models now require you to enter your four-digit pin in order to start the vehicle, in addition to requiring the key fob to be close by. As a result, there would be less likelihood of a carjacking while you're away. They can only take the contents of the car because they won't be able to start it; they can't take the car itself.

7. Autonomous Parking

Many individuals are unaware that autonomous parking is possible with automated driving, whilst some people believe that autonomous driving is only for convenience during lengthy travels. Autonomous parking, though it may seem like a novelty feature, is a vital safety feature, especially if you're out late at night and your car is parked in the dark. In order to get into your car from the security of your home, you can use autonomous parking to have the automobile move to you.

New Technology Improving Car Safety

All of these developments aid motorists in keeping their cars safe. Over 25 years ago, the basic immobilizer served as the catalyst for everything. These days, we have vehicles that drive themselves to their owners, demand a pin code to start, and even phone you if you have an accident.

Even while we utilize technology to defend our cars, there will always be thieves who manage to slip through the cracks and take advantage of a flaw in the internal technology of your car. You should be aware of their strategies and how to avoid them as a result.