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My Smart Remote

Mobile app based vehicle security and control

Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Summary

Every year, more than 1.5 million cars are reported stolen in Europe. In London alone, car theft rose by 8% in 2014[1]. Around 171,713 vehicles, worth over Rs. 85 billion, were reported stolen or snatched in Pakistan during the five years ending 2013. The actual number of thefts is even more.

 

Keys (both physical and electronic) of cars can be cloned very easy. At the same time, solutions such as trackers activate when the car is reported stolen. In-car, security systems such as trackers are often compromised through the use of jammers.  The problem becomes more acute when the theft is committed without forced entries, meaning the stolen car shows no sign of actually being stolen. Just last year, hundreds of thousands of cars were stolen without forced entry. My Smart Remote (MSR) is an award winning system that presents car owners with an additional layer of security.

 

To combat the rise of key cloning devices which are cheaply available online, MSR provides a solution that is not susceptible to key cloning and jamming signals. The MSR mobile app communicates with a hardware kit inside the car, which asks for the car owner’s approval each time an unrecognized device attempts to start the car. Without approval, the car is rendered useless for potential thieves. 

 

MSR provides a solution that is not susceptible to key cloning and jamming signals. It consists of a mobile app that communicates with a hardware kit installed inside the car, which asks for the password and car owner’s approval every time a new user wants to connect to the car through the kit. This means that any potential thieves would not be able to start the car because they would need the car owner’s approval. As opposed to state-of-the-art immobiliser, MSR offers the following unique features:

 

As opposed to state-of-the-art immobiliser, MSR offers the following unique features:

·         You can give temporary guest passwords to other people like mechanics, valet drivers, or family members.

·         Changing car keys and getting new key copies is costly and time consuming. With MSR, accessing key copies via the app and changing your password is free.

·         By law, car manufacturers are obliged to share information with authorized dealers, some of whom share this information with illegitimate persons. Thieves have learnt how to bypass all existing security solutions. MSR works as a stand-alone system and is not dependent on car’s existing ECUs.

·         The system’s security features are interconnected so that if a password is hacked, it will be difficult to start engine without the owner’s authorisation.

·         Another benefit of MSR is that if you leave both your keys and phone inside your car, you can simply borrow someone else’s phone, download the app, type in the correct password and open the doors.

 

Key Note’s latest vehicle security market report 2014 shows that there is a huge opportunity for new product development. In January 2015, Met Chief, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said in a meeting with the Mayor's Office for Policing, "Until we get that design problem sorted out we have a problem and my concern is that the number of cars being stolen will rise".

 

There are over one billion cars worldwide, 10 million in Pakistan and over 250 million in Europe. Even if car manufacturers come up with a solution for the problem the new solution will only be implemented for newly built cars; leaving millions of car in the aftermarket totally exposed .

 

 

Our business model consists of sales through distributors. First year sales will focus on the Pakistan, UK and Europe. Many distributors are already lined up in these countries. We have received support from interested distributors in the UK, Pakistan, Turkey, Asia, and South Africa.  Car security is a global issue and the product is highly scalable. The total market size is over $100 Billion. Our projected 3-year sales revenue is over $10 M. Assuming a P/E ratio of 8.5x, we anticipate a potential exit valuation of $20 Million based on the projected Year 3 EBITDA.


KEY ACHIEVEMENTS: 

- Implemented and Tested on 21 cars

- Top 21 Inventions  of the Year at The Gadget Show Live 2015

- Toyota Innovation Challenge Award (Pakistan Innovation Foundation Award)

- Innovation Voucher from Innovate UK

- Best Research & Development Award 2014

- Provisional patents filed


[1] London Evening Standard, “Police Crack Down on ‘Keyless’ Car Thieves’, Newspaper published on 3rd February 2015, Page 10

Details

“My Smart Remote” is a system through which a mobile application wirelessly connects to and communicates with a hardware kit installed inside the car. Due to its innovative security mechanism, My Smart Remote provides enhanced car security that the user is completely in control of through any smartphone. At the same time, the system provides security against key cloning and password hacking. My Smart Remote provides a unique solution to modern day thieves bypassing existing car security solutions.

My Smart Remote was one of the Top 21 British Inventions selected in for the British Inventors Projects at The Gadget Show Live 2015. Details of the system are provided in the following sections. 

Tackling car security

Car theft is a global problem and in recent years various studies such as reports from Sky News [1], BBC [2], Mark Ward [3] and many others showed that thieves have developed methods to bypass existing car security systems, which were developed in 1980s/1990s. Key Note report [4] and UK Office for National Statistics [5] show that in the year 2012-2013, one in every 20 households were a victim of vehicle crime in the UK. In developing countries, this issue is even more pressing.

 

  • Every 2 seconds a car is reported stolen worldwide
  • The nationwide motor vehicle thefts recorded in 2013 in the United States were about 0.7 million. [6]
  • According to the European Communities study on Vehicle Crime in EU Member States [7], over 1.5 Million cars are stolen every year in Europe, with more than 370,000 of these being in the UK alone.

 

Latest figures show that the number of cars stolen in London rose by eight per cent in 2014, with the increase mainly due to a raise in the rate of keyless thefts. [8] An extract from a Telegraph article [9] given below perfectly highlights problems with existing car security technologies:

 

“Expensive vehicles such as Range Rovers and other 4x4s are increasingly facing what police call “keyless” theft.” A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “As part of Kensington and Chelsea's commitment to reduce theft of motor vehicles, officers are currently stopping prestige vehicles seen being driven in the area after midnight, when many vehicle thefts take place. He added that thefts of Range Rovers now make up 10 per cent of all keyless thefts in the capital - while BMW makes up 15 per cent of the total. Thieves bypass car security systems with a hand-held device that can be bought online for as little as £50.”

 

This year, Met Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe stated that until design problems are resolved we will continue to see a rise in the number of cars stolen. Drivers are reluctant to revert to older physical security methods such as steering or crook locks which can also be easily bypassed by theives.

 

An investigation by Sky News [10] last year found that tens of thousands of cars are stolen or broken into using key cloning devices, key programmers, transponders or cloning kits that are easily sourced online. In October 2014 the BBC [11] reported that some London-based owners of Range Rovers were denied insurance over the issue.  

 

One of the major issues with existing car security systems is that, car owenrs may have to give key to mechanics, auto electricians and valet services. New technologies mean it is possible to clone  keys in less than 20 seconds leaving car owners easily exposed to theft. The devices for cloning keys are legally available online for less than £50. With these devices, cloning keys is far easier than hacking passwords.

 

REASONS:

Car insurance companies are increasingly requesting addition security such as trackers, immobilisers, alarms or SIM-based solutions. Some of these might have mobile apps as an interface but there is no real innovation in their security mechanisms.  Security is a continuous development and innovation process- if security solutions are not continuously improved thieves will find a way to bypass existing solutions.

 

Thieves have now learnt how to bypass security measures using tracker signal jamming devices or SIM-based solutions, damaging the system by cutting its power supply or even key cloning. Although there are on average 50 computer systems in a modern car, thieves can now gain access to a car in as little as 20 seconds. Key cloning technology is so common, that around 50% of thefts and break in’s last year were completed without force affecting insurance claims. If there is no forced entry, insurance companies often assume the car owner did not lock the car. In addition to financial losses, there are some other notable losses which car owners are not able to claim back on insurance such as:

  • Material objects lost in the car’s boot,- including any damages incurred by loss of data and information on electronic devices.
  • Many times stolen cars are used for crimes which may result in legal issues for the owner.

In addition to key cloning, other techniques are used by thieves to bypass existing security solutions, which include cutting the power supply to the security system or damaging the security system to overcome its function. Jammers are used to jam signals of trackers or other SIM-based solutions.

Some of the other problems to which “My Smart Remote” provides solutions are:

·         The cost of most state-of-the-art electronic vehicle security solutions like trackers is high. Most car owners pay over $200 for a standard vehicle tracking system. In addition, they have to pay annual or monthly subscription charges.

·         Managing physical keys and remote control devices is difficult. Many times people may lose it or lock it inside the car. In our survey, we noticed that, in some cases, drivers locked keys and even babies inside the car.

·         Sharing such keys is also a problem as this leaves additional drivers without access to the vehicle.

·         Replacing car keys requires effort, time and produces extra costs (typically more than $200).

NOTE: OUR COMPLETE BUSINESS PLAN AND FINANCIALS ARE READY.

[1] 8th May 2014; Sky News, "Thousands Of Cars Stolen Using Hi-Tech Gadgets", 8th May 2014; http://news.sky.com/story/1257320/thousands-of-cars-stolen-using-hi-tech-gadgets

[2] Dave Lee, Technology Reporter, "Keyless cars increasingly targeted by thieves using computers", BBC News, 27th October 2014; Last retrieved on 21st June 2015 from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29786320)

[3] Mark Ward, Technology Correspondent, “Hi-tech cars are security risk, warn researchers”, BBC News, 1st September 2014, Last retrieved on 29th July 2015 from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28886463

[4] Key Note, “Vehicle Security Market Report 2014”, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-78304-107-7, Available on: http://www.keynote.co.uk/market-intelligence/view/product/10917/vehicle-security?utm_source=kn.reports.browse#

[5] Office for National Statistics, “Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending December 2013”, Crime and Justice Theme, 24th April 2014.

[6] Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, “US Auto Theft Services”, last retrieved on 2nd September 2014 from: http://www.rmiia.org/auto/auto_theft/statistics.asp

[7] European Communities, “A Review of the Current Knowledge and Statistical Development on Vehicle Theft in the EU Member States”, REGIOPLAN 2004.

[8] Press Release of 6th February 2015, Metropolitan Police, “84 arrests following crackdown on keyless vehicle theft”, Last retrieved on 21st February 2015 from: http://www.noodls.com/view/21B159D6F6CEABB030F97A2BD220651EB344BD38?6365xxx1423246100

[9] David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent, "Traffic cops in an exclusive part of London are stopping all high-value cars late at night following a spate of thefts", The Telegraph, last retrieved no 2nd February 2015 from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11348791/Pull-over-expensive-cars-after-midnight-police-told.html

[10] 8th May 2014; Sky News, "Thousands Of Cars Stolen Using Hi-Tech Gadgets", 8th May 2014; http://news.sky.com/story/1257320/thousands-of-cars-stolen-using-hi-tech-gadgets

[11] Dave Lee, Technology Reporter, "Keyless cars increasingly targeted by thieves using computers", BBC News, 27th October 2014; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29786320)

Interests

Mobile/Gaming, Hardware/IOT, Digital, Technology

01/Founders

Akhtar Khalil

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