Car thefts are on the up, strangely as the technology surrounding vehicles continues to grow, car thieves too, have evolved. We’ve all seen the videos on the internet off thieves making off with high-end cars in a matter of seconds using signal repeaters, that mimic the signal from the keys. All this without removing a stitch of rubber beading or smashing any window panes. The question then is, how do we cope with the issue, if we can’t take preemptive steps to protect ourselves. A South African firm that’s plotting their entry into the subcontinent says that they have the solution. We met with their CEO Phillip Opperman in New Delhi to find out what this technology is and how he intends to implement it. The company goes by the name of RECOVERI and they specialize in a powerful Microdot anti-theft deterrent that is designed to make stealing cars feeding the cannibalization market more difficult.
What is it?
The Microdot technology is fairly simple Recoveri CEO Phillip Opperman, a former law enforcement officer and detective say that is what it makes them full-proof. It involves spraying thousands of microdots all over the car, each set of 15,000 dots has a unique laser etched PIN (Personal Identification Number) which is linked to the VIN number of the car. The polymer dots have a diameter by 1mm, making them almost to identify and remove effectively. Opperman pointed out that even after blowing up a test car using 5 kgs of C4 that the microdots were still retained on many points in the chassis. The Dots themselves are almost invisible to the naked eye and have a UV tracing agent that allows authorities to find them using a microscope.
Opperman said, that once a car or any asset for that matter has been dotted, the unique DNA is enacted, proving undisputed ownership. Each tag is linked to the Recoveri database. The dots enable police to find missing vehicles as well as identify parts that may have been fitted illegally. The reason he thinks that this would be so effective is that it requires very little in the form of infrastructure aside from a microscope and UV lights that put together cost no more than a few dollars.
How will they be implemented?
Opperman says the best way for this to be adopted would be through government regulations, and expressed confidence governments affirmative action to curb vehicle theft. According to reports, in just Delhi alone 100 vehicles are stolen every day, while the rate of recovery of these vehicles is at a dismal 30 per month across India. Opperman believes that with the support of the government and OEMs that even a 30-40% decrease will put enough strain on the black-market to potentially shut it down. At present, Opperman revealed that they are in talks with ACMA to use this system to combat the manufacture of spurious car parts.
How much will it cost?
Recoveri says that they are presently in talks with the Central Motor Vehicle Rules- Technical Standard Committee (CMVR-TSC) set up by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways that have already framed standards for the auto industry to use microdots. At a cost of less than half a tank of fuel to fully secure the vehicle with 15,000 microdots this technology should be very easy to implement.