Can Smart Cars Catch Criminals? Automakers Are Trying To Find Out

Dec 13, 2016 09:22 PM EST | Joanne Zamora

Imagine self-driving cars delivering criminals to a nearby police station. How about a driverless cab that has been programmed to lock up someone who enters your car after you have left? These are not sci-fi fantasies anymore but smart car security possibilities that are waiting to happen as more and more vehicles are developed to run autonomous operations and smart systems.

In fact, according to Seattle Crime News, a car thief awoke from his slumber one Sunday morning to find out that he had been locked inside a stolen BMW. Apparently, BMW employees were able to remotely lock the car's doors, trapping him inside, after the owner discovered that her car was missing and called 911. This is one of the many new security features celebrated for the 550i series of luxury cars which includes "Stolen Vehicle Recovery" remote services, and a "Remote Door Unlock" option, according to Geektime.

My BMW Remote App is one smart car security app that enables car owners to unlock or lock their cars, flash the lights, sound the horn and turn on the heating or ventilation system, all at the click of a smart phones. It also has the BMW Connected North America app while Chevrolet has the myChevrolet, Hyundai has MyHyundai, and Tesla has Tesla, each having their own remote locking and unlocking apps.

The Internet of Things (IoT) combined with a lot of existing gadgets is gaining popularity among consumers and automakers. With every part of the vehicle being connected to the internet, car owners will have better remote access and control of their unit's functionality using their smart phones.

For example, when car keys get misplaced or stolen, unlocking the car will require only the tapping of the associated smart phone against the handle - that is after registering the lock with the phone through its designated app. TapKey is an app that implemented this smart car security concept successfully, according to Mokriya.

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