INDEPENDENT NEWS

Satellites To Track Car Thieves

Published: Tue 2 Nov 2004 10:38 AM
Satellites To Track Car Thieves
More car thieves may end up in court following the launch this week of a new vehicle tracking system.
Developed by Wellington businessman Wayne Gazley and software designer Nick Lloyd, the system uses satellite location technology and the Vodafone network to keep track of their customers' vehicles.
Subscribers to the Traking It service, operated by Satellite Tracking Systems Limited, install a location device in their vehicle and enter a monitoring contract with the company.
"When they call our operations centre we can tell them where their vehicle is. We can track at least 200 previous locations it has visited -- an hour and half of continuous tracking -- or more locations if required.
"If it is being driven by a thief at the time, we can immobilise it," Gazley says.
"The owner can then report the vehicle missing and ask the Police to co-ordinate directly with us, if required.
"We believe this service shifts the balance in favour of vehicle owners in the battle with car thieves. Last year 39,000 vehicles were stolen in New Zealand - a reflection of the fact that many thieves believe they won't get caught."
For drivers fearful of being car-jacked, the service also provides a panic button, which immediately alerts the Traking It control centre that a customer is at risk. The centre then attempts to contact the customer, and if this is unsuccessful, STSL tracks the vehicle and contacts the Police.
If the vehicle is tampered with or its alarm activated, the customer is automatically texted.
The service can -- at customer request -- unlock vehicle doors, Gazley says.
"You'd be surprised how many people lock their keys in the car. It can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you are in a hurry to go somewhere."
For businesses, Traking It offers fleet management options.
"The security of drivers in remote or risky locations can be greatly enhanced. Also, where a business has rules for the use of staff vehicles, compliance can be easily monitored.
"For instance, the fleet manager might want to know if company vehicles are being used outside agreed hours or geographical zones."
Traking It is suitable for monitoring cars, trucks, heavy vehicles and machinery, as well as boats. The standard unit is available from car dealers and auto electricians for around $900 including GST, with installation extra. Monitoring costs an additional $1 a day.
For details go to http://www.trakingit.com
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS
Wayne Gazley has been involved in timber and hardware marketing for most of his working life.
In 1995 he purchased Parapine Timber, Kaiwharawhara, Wellington. He sold out to Carters in 2003, and retains a marketing role with the company.
Nick Lloyd, has been working in the IT industry in New Zealand, Australia and the UK for more than 20 years.
In the last three years, Nick and his partner have established a successful graphic and web design business Samdog Design, specialising in developing web centric applications for small to medium sized businesses.

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