Sensors, radars, cameras and even satellites cannot fully guarantee the safety of a car as modern technology remains a two-sided sword.
Car manufacturers around the world would like you to believe that their vehicles are safer than Fort Knox and Zone 51. Ask dealers about car safety from those who have vile intentions, perhaps stealing wheels, and they will tell you about satellite monitoring systems, biological metric authentication, real-time monitoring on phones, cameras, sensors and even radars. But short of this long assertion is that modern cars, no matter what technological marvels they can boast of, are still quite prone to theft. Are today’s cars safer than before? Of course. Are modern cars 100 percent safe from thieves? Hardly.
It’s not about anxiety, but prevention is always better than cure. Vehicles, which are increasingly dependent on software upgrades, trust high-end systems to repel burglars and prevent unwanted entry. Technology, for the most part, is advancing in the right direction when it comes to in-car safety. But the blind belief that they made our vehicles impassable would be a false assumption. Just take the example of Tesla.
Sultan Qasim Khan, chief security consultant at the British security firm NCC Group, based in Manchester, recently showed how one can potentially hack Tesla Model 3 and Y cars for entry and control. According to a Bloomberg report, Khan redirected the connection between the car owner’s cell phone or keychain and the car itself to assume that the owner is in close physical proximity to it. He said it’s one form of working with a car safety system, and it’s not just for Tesla. The same report also adds that so far there is no evidence that this method was used to illegally enter any Tesla car in the real world.
But it’s still a cause for concern.
Gone are the days when thieves stuck wire into a window shaft to unlock doors. How many Hollywood movies show how the protagonist uses the ignition wiring to start the car? No more, because modern-day Grand Theft Auto (GTA) specialists are not the usual scammers they once could have been. Hacking has become a very real security threat to cars, where you can access everything from keychains to mobile applications for cars and even servers.
So the basic rules of years past may still apply today as they did in the past. Park in a well-lit place, install a CCTV camera if possible, and while you’re at it, why not just get a nostalgic steering wheel lock? In a world of upscale gimmicks you never know whether the steering, gearbox or wheel lock can confuse a modern thief.
Date of first publication: 9:09 AM IST on May 17, 2022