Jan 18, 2022 - Economy & Business

Ford, ADT partner on smart tech to deter vehicle theft

Vans and trucks often carry thousands of dollars of equipment.
Vans and trucks often carry thousands of dollars of equipment. Photo courtesy of Ford

Ford Motor and security firm ADT are forming a new company to develop vehicle security technology designed to prevent thieves from stealing valuables out of your car, truck or van.

Why it matters: The FBI estimates more than $7.4 billion was lost to vehicle theft and stolen work and recreational equipment in 2020. The new venture, called Canopy, will use AI-based security systems and cameras to help people keep a closer eye on their vehicles and the property they carry inside them.

Driving the news: The companies are investing $105 million in Canopy, with Ford owning 60%.

  • The first product, available in 2023 in the U.S. and U.K., will be a multi-sensor accessory that can be installed in any vehicle and connect to owners' smartphone with an app.
  • Later, Canopy will introduce systems that can be integrated into the design of Ford vehicles.

How it works: The initial system will have a camera that can be mounted in either a van’s cargo area or on a pickup facing the bed and will make use of existing sensors, too, including acoustic sensors, onboard cameras, radar, LTE and GPS.

  • The system will trigger an alert if it detects criminal activity, like the sound of breaking glass, or someone checking to see if the vehicle is locked.
  • Canopy says the AI will be able to distinguish between true threats and benign acts — like a cat jumping into a pickup bed or construction noise near a vehicle.
  • The app will let customers livestream video from the vehicle, get notified of suspicious activity or review past events.
  • For an extra subscription price, ADT's professional monitoring service will also call the police when necessary.
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