Because of the increasing sophistication of car security, criminals are having to steal the ignition keys to get in and get away, usually through burglary, pickpocketing or mugging. With the target cars mostly worth upwards of £15,000, fleets are particularly at risk.
According to the police, around 23,000 cars in the UK were stolen using this method in the past year. Siemens Datatrak's Trakbak II system is triggered when the car is started without flicking a hidden switch.
Once the car is started without driver verification, the Siemens Datatrak National Control Centre will contact the driver to check if he or she is in the car. If not, thieves are unaware they are being tracked until the police close in. The system means that, if challenged, drivers can surrender their keys without getting harmed, in the knowledge it is more likely the car will be recovered.
Mike Bateson, UK managing director of Siemens Datatrak, said: 'In this war against vehicle theft, Trakbak II ensures that possession of the keys is no longer enough to get away with the crime. Significantly, Trakbak II safeguards the driver.'