RFID System Designed To Prevent Car Theft From Auto Dealerships

We’ve all taken the requisite new car test drive from the local auto dealership. But at the same time, car dealers are fighting off the rising problem of auto theft that comes with that drive around the block.

And with an RFID-enabled security system designed by MIKOH Corp. and Ship2Save, car dealers should be able to breathe a little easier.

The two companies have partnered to design a joint solution for AVS Key and Inventory Solutions to help protect cars at dealerships. The solution uses MIKOH’s Smart&Secure tamper-evident RFID platform with custom cabinets from Ship2Saves Operational Management Systems.

“Car theft is a rising concern for dealerships, mostly due to stolen keys,” said Anoop Sharma, president of AVS Key and Inventory Solutions and a former Toronto police officer. “During test drives, thieves switch the original keys with counterfeits, returning a few hours later to drive the car off the lot and onto a waiting truck. RFID is an ideal security solution to prevent key counterfeiting and theft.”

The system works like this. The keys at the dealership are stored in a custom Ship2Save cabinet with an automatic locking mechanism. Employees check out the keys with coded ID cards and can only check out a certain quantity of keys for a limited time period.

If the keys are not returned on time, or more keys are removed than authorized for the employee, the system alerts a designated party that the keys are at risk. The dealership can then move the card to a more secure location.

To prevent thieves from disabling the system, each key is equipped with an RFID tag using the Smart&Secure system.

“Car theft costs dealerships approximately $420,000 each year, not including increased insurance premiums and lost opportunity costs,” said Aminder Singh, vice president products and services for Ship2Save. “The Ship2Save and MIKOH partnership creates an obvious solution to enhance dealership security. The addressable market in North America alone is more than 10 million tags annually.”

AVS Key and Inventory Solutions also can help dealerships manage key inventories. Thanks to employees losing or forgetting to return keys, dealerships spend an average of $2,000 per year on key replacement fees. The system is designed to cut down on that expense.

“AVS Key and Inventory Solutions perfectly illustrates how RFID can be leveraged to create an innovative solution to a specific market need,” said Andrew Strauch, vice president of product marketing and management for MIKOH. “The result prevents car theft, saving money for both dealerships and insurance companies while saving time and resources for local law enforcement organizations.”

The system is in use at a Toronto car dealership while eight others in the area are planning to install the system. Company officials said they are looking to expand the system to other North American locations.

About the Author

Brent Dirks is senior e-news/Web editor for Security Products and Network-Centric Security magazines.

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