Technology improving all the time
SOUTH AFRICA’S TRACKING technology is one of the most advanced in the world. In some cases it’s even set a trend. This technology enables the tracking industry – which includes wellknown names such as Altech Netstar, Matrix Vehicle Tracking, Tracker, Orbtech (with its Buddi Track) and Digicore – to increasingly improve its efficiency.
Vehicle theft and hijacking are increasing at an alarming rate. According to the National Vehicle Crime Forum (NVCF), vehicles stolen in SA – especially by crime syndicates – have been found as far away as Tanzania, Mauritius and Pakistan. That’s why financial institutions are insisting on vehicles being fitted with technology before financing is made available, especially for more expensive vehicles.
Altech Netstar was the first company in SA that identified the need for tracking stolen vehicles. That was about 13 years ago. It took two years of development before the service was introduced. Later, it was the first tracker to use helicopters. Currently it’s still an industry leader, with more than 400 000 vehicles in SA already fitted with its technology. Over the years, Netstar has helped recover around 30 000 stolen vehicles.
Altech Netstar also operates in neighbouring countries Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Zambia. It has five products in its range, from its entry-level Netstar Sleuth to the advanced Netstar Vigil, which uses a combination of satellite and other technologies to rapidly track and recover vehicles.
Tracker, which has helped the police to uncover hundreds of “chop shops” and crime syndicates, also claims to have recovered more than 30 000 stolen vehicles.
Matrix Vehicle Tracking, another of the leaders, recently celebrated its 11th birthday.
It’s recovered thousands of vehicles since being founded in the Nineties.
However, as is often the case in an industry that grows quickly, there have been some that gave the industry a bad name and disappeared along the way.
It’s therefore important to choose wisely and to look not only at costs when selecting a company.
In order to assist vehicle owners with that choice – while at the same time increasing industry standards – the Vehicle Security Association (Vesa) was formed about 20 years ago. While it initially only laid down standards for the industry, it now does a lot more: various committees ensure that the industry provides quality service for items such as electronic products (alarms and immobilisers), tracking products and mechanical security products (such as gear locks).
More information about the industry and its role players can be obtained at www.vesa.co.za, others being www. matrix.co.za, www.mtrack.co.za and www.powerprotect.co.za