Ford helps theft victims recover stolen vehicles using connected car tech

Ford introduces Stolen Vehicle Services for the FordPass app to help customers protect their vehicle and to provide 24-hour support in the event of a vehicle theft

Ford is introducing a fully integrated theft recovery service designed to help prevent or mitigate the impact of a vehicle theft. 1

Operated through the FordPass app, 2 Stolen Vehicle Services sends an alert to the owner’s smartphone if an attempted theft is detected. The app guides the user through the process of reporting the incident to the police and provides 24-hour on-call support including vehicle tracking. Stolen Vehicle Services builds on the functionality of SecuriAlert 3 and sends an alert to the user’s smartphone using FordPass Connect.

“No one wants to think about the consequences of having their vehicle stolen. Stolen Vehicle Services provides a heightened level of detection of an attempted theft, on-call support to assist the police to track and locate the vehicle, increasing the likelihood of recovery and supporting our customers if the worst should happen,” said Charles Nolan, manager of retail connectivity solutions, Ford Enterprise Connectivity.

Between 2009 and 2018, more than 500,000 vehicles were stolen across the EU each year, 4 while in the UK over the same period most stolen vehicles were never recovered, 5 leading to further emotional and financial stress for the victims.

Initially available for the new Mustang Mach-E GT with other Ford vehicles to follow, Stolen Vehicle Services is part of the Ford Secure 1 subscription package, which will be supplied free of charge for a trial period on compatible vehicles. 7 The service is available this year in the UK and Republic of Ireland with wider availability across Europe in 2022.

Help on call if needed

If the owner receives an alert via the FordPass app that an unauthorised or unexpected action has taken place, a single tap on the FordPass app is sufficient to report the vehicle stolen, and guides the owner through the process of securing and recovering the vehicle by reporting to the police.

Firstly, the FordPass app finds the telephone number for the local police based on the owner’s current location, enabling them to report the vehicle as stolen and obtain a crime reference number. The app also provides a handy text box to record that number and any other important information, automatically saving it for later reference.

The FordPass app then enables the owner to dial the Stolen Vehicle Services call centre to provide the crime reference number and other important information. Available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, the Stolen Vehicle Services call centre remotely enables ‘theft mode’, where some vehicle features are disabled in a safe manner in order to make vehicle tracking and recovery by the police more efficient.

Enhanced detection

The system is activated by the driver through the FordPass smartphone app and their Ford account, and in addition to those detected by SecuriAlert, uses the vehicle’s sensors to detect a number of events that could indicate the vehicle is being stolen. The events can include master reset – an attempt to deactivate FordPass Connect, and inconsistent location – when the ignition is turned on and the vehicle’s location coordinates are different to when the ignition was last turned off.

If one of the sensors is triggered, a push notification is sent to the owner’s smartphone to indicate a potential theft has occurred. The FordPass app shows the recent vehicle status to help the owner determine if the vehicle has been moved or entry attempted without their knowledge, and gives the option to cancel in the event of a false alarm. The additional monitoring and protection mean that Stolen Vehicle Services has achieved a Thatcham S7 security rating.

Connected for the future

Stolen Vehicle Services is the next step in Ford’s suite of connected services that offer greater functionality and an enhanced customer experience, all enabled by FordPass Connect.

Ford vehicles featuring SYNC 4 come with a free trial subscription to Ford Secure, 1 which includes Stolen Vehicle Services, and will be enhanced by new features such as Location Alerts – the ability to create user-chosen boundaries and receive push notifications should the vehicle leave these areas for added reassurance that your vehicle is where it should be, and Neighbourhood Alerts – notifications from other SecuriAlert-protected vehicles in your area that can give advanced warning of criminals operating nearby, as Power-Up wireless updates at a later date.

1 Features require activation
2 FordPass app, compatible with selected smartphone platforms, is available via download. Message and data rates apply. FordPass Connect, the FordPass app and complimentary Connected Service are required for remote features (see FordPass terms for details). Connected Service and features depend on Vodafone or Vodafone partner mobile network availability. Evolving technology/mobile networks/vehicle capability may limit functionality and prevent operation of connected features. Connected Service excludes Wi-Fi hotspot.
3SecuriAlert is the connected security system that uses the existing vehicle sensors to detect if an attempt is being made to break into the vehicle – even using a key.
Number of police recorded offences of theft of motorised land vehicle
5 45.31 per cent of stolen vehicles were recovered by police between 2009 and 2018
6 The declared WLTP fuel/energy consumptions, CO2-emissions and electric range are determined according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EU) 2017/1151 as last amended. The applied standard test procedures enable comparison between different vehicle types and different manufacturers.
Available at additional cost following trial period. Costs may vary depending on market and currency.

SOURCE: Ford

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