The Evolution of Car Security Features: A Brief History

Karl Benz is credited with making the first car, a gasoline-powered three-wheeled “Motorwagen” in 1885/86. Cars have always been valuable possessions. But car security is a concern since car theft cases are still common.

The first known vehicle theft happened in 1896, in Paris, France. Baron de Zuylen, the founder of the Automobile Club of France, had his Peugeot stolen by a mechanic. This incident inspired the development of car security systems. Remember you can use laser marking systems  for product traceability and permanent logos of your car and its individual components

The Evolution of Car Security System

To curb car theft, manufacturers and engineers developed various security features. Let’s now take a look at a brief history of vehicle security features.

1.    Removable Steering wheel

The removable steering wheel was the first anti-theft system in vehicles. It was first created in 1900 by Leach Automobile. As the name suggests, the driver would remove the steering wheel and carry it after parking the car. This would keep car thieves away.

2.    The Invention of Locks

A car with locks seems ordinary today, but most cars did not even have doors during the early years. It was until the 1920s that car locks were invented. But these locks had a major downside. They were easy to pick, so it wasn’t an effective car security feature. Better and more complex locks came out in the 1970s.

Scripps-Booth was the first to introduce locks on their luxury vehicles in 1914. But it was until 1956 that these powerful locks became a trend when Packard brought them back.

In 1980, Ford introduced keyless entry in its top-of-the-range models. One had to enter a code on the outside of the vehicle to have access. Renault introduced remote entry for the Renault Fuego in 1982.

3.    The Invention of Alarms

An unknown Denver inmate created the first car alarm in 1913. In 1916, a science magazine reported that an inventor was working on a wireless alarm system.

Victor Helman developed the first popular after-market car alarm in 1956. Opening any part of a vehicle without deactivating the master switch triggered the alarm.

Production of inbuilt OEM car alarm systems started in the 1970s. Chrysler was one of the first companies to install these alarms in their vehicles. Sensors were placed around the car, and if there were unauthorized start-up or entry, the siren would go off, and the lights would flash.

4.    The Invention of Immobilizers

Edward N. Birkenbeuel and St. George Evans in 1918 created the original immobilizer. It had a 3×3 switch panel that could only be turned on using a specific key and was connected to the horn, ignition, and battery.

If someone tried to start the car, power would be diverted to the horn, consequently immobilizing the vehicle. Modern immobilizers are popular, with statistics showing that they decrease car-theft by about 40%.

5.    The Invention of Tracking Devices

Tracking devices are the latest technology in the car security systems world. Today, companies and individuals use GPS systems for various purposes.

Car tracking systems use GPS technology to discover the position of your vehicle. Note that this tracking feature does not provide only the location of a car.

Firstly, it enables you to disable your car’s engine remotely using a computer or a smartphone application. Secondly, it provides alerts on your vehicle’s movements like towing alerts and geozone exit alerts.

Also, you receive advanced reports such as mileage and movement. Individuals and companies can use this security system. Cellutrak provides GPS tracking solutions for your car.

Modern car security features are superior. However, this doesn’t mean you should be careless with your car – take every precaution to ensure your car is not stolen. Using GPS car tracking systems is one of the best ways to secure your vehicle.

Elliot is the Business Development Manager at Cellutrak GPS Tracking Solutions. He helps businesses in Canada and the US implement all-in-one GPS tracking solutions to track and manage their fleets of vehicles and equipment. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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