Thieves steal BT car security system

A new vehicle tracking system from BT comes at a price, but one of the company's project managers has reason to be grateful for it already

BT's new vehicle tracking system has set some kind of record by finding its first stolen car before it had gone live.

The car, an Audi A4, belongs to David Thomas — project manager for the new BT Trackit system. It was stolen from outside his house on 2 November and was recovered, undamaged, the same day.

Thomas was alerted to the theft by BT’s Secure Operating Centre. Using satellite-based tracking technology the car was pinpointed and the local police were informed and were able to recover the vehicle. The car had been abandoned six miles away.

"I couldn’t believe it when I discovered my car had been stolen," said Tomas. "I suppose it was an opportunity to put BT Trackit to the test for real."

The theft and subsequent recovery of the vehicle was announced by BT on Monday, the same day that Trackit was officially launched. A BT spokesman insisted that the company had not invented the story.

BT Trackit allow BT to pin-point the exact location of a vehicle in the UK and other parts of Europe, using GPS tracking. The system was developed by BT redcare, the secure wireless data solutions business of BT Group. The company claims that it achieves the toughest insurance industry security standard, Thatcham's Category 5.

But this security comes at a cost. A BT Trackit Unit for your car will cost £299.99 and installation will cost another £149.00. There is also an annual service charge of £149.00.

BT claims the service is "20 percent cheaper than a leading provider of Category 5 products" such as Tracker Network.

A smartcard, part of BT's tracking technology

The car owner keeps this smartcard on their person.

All of the technology that is put in a car for BT's tracking system

The black box is fitted alongside the car's engine. When the owner approaches the car, the smartcard interacts with the rest of the system and authenticates the user. Someone without the card can still start the car, but the system will then be alerted.