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London Motor Show 1999 – ‘Worlds Smartest Car’ Unveiled.

In articles written on this, the first ‘smart’ hire car apparently knows where it is. It can tell you if it has been stolen and can call for help after an accident has happened.

Navigation is included and can advise drivers of turn by turn instructions if they so wish. It is said that this system can also be installed into motorbikes and scooters.

This product has been produced by a London based company called Skynet 2001; it uses GPS technology along with mobile phone technology. It is said that the package has two main components, one being a vehicle tracking system called ‘Skamp’.

This enables operators in a skynet monitoring centre to see the exact location of the vehicle and then speak to the driver if it appears to have been stolen. Images of thieves wondering if their going mad when the car begins to waffle tickles me! What won’t tickle the thief is if they are not able to supply the centre with a unique reference number then the car can be stopped by the operator when it is safe for it to do so. As with other tracking systems, the police can also be alerted and can then give chase if necessary.

This system is also fitted with a type of detector that can tell when a vehicle has been in an accident by the pressure in which the brakes are applied. Again an operator will speak to the driver if possible and can alert the emergency services. This I think is a great idea especially if you are driving on your own in a relatively isolated area, possibly late at night where other vehicles may not find you etc.

This is just the beginning as the operator can be contacted if you are to lock your car keys in the vehicle and promptly open the door for you. We of course all know the problems of parking in muli-storey car parks and forgetting where your car is. By using GPS tracking, an operator can direct you to find it.

We currently do not know when and if this system is able to be purchased by the general public, but it has been reported that the fleet of Avis-Rent-a-car at London Heathrow have been fitted with the system. It would be a great system to have in your own fleets if you were able to act as the controller and combine it with all the other great features a tracking system can bring.

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