LONDON: Stealing acar will not be a cake-walk for car thieves anymore, for now a new type of car alarms would enable the vehicles themselves to look after each other's safety - just like a herd of animals under any potential threat from predators.
In this novel security system, cars will be talking to their neighbours constantly via hidden wireless transmitters, and if in case a thief tries to sweep it off, the cars would raise the alarm in a matter of seconds.
The system called SVATS (Sensor-network-based Vehicle Anti-theft System) has been designed by Hui Song from Frostburg State University, Maryland, United States, in collaboration with colleagues at Pennsylvania State University.
.... The system starts when the driver of the vehicle switches on the transmitters fitted inside using a remote control, at the time of leaving the car. Then the car sends out a "join" message to all the nearby cars. The cars chooses its nearest neighbours to act as its sentinels and prefers partners that need the lowest signal strength for communication, so that the system does not consume less of the car's battery.
The car continues sending out periodic "alive" signals to these watchers, till the time the owner returns and it finally sends a "goodbye" message.
However, in case the "alive" messages die out without a "goodbye" message, then the cars acting as watchers would report a theft by transmitting a message to a central base station. This would ... trigger the alarm which in turn would notify the security guard of the car park, the owners of the vehicle, or the police.