Damnit. LoJack is kinda cool. But figure this:
Park your car, go to sleep. Wake up in the morning, get ready to go to work. Walk outside and lo and behold, your ride is GONE. Call LoJack or whatever, report it stolen. They soon find the shell of the car.
Time passed: 10+ hrs
Car Stripped: <10 hrs
Now with a GPS based solution:
Park car. Arm GPS alarm, so if the car moves a few feet, it will set off an alert and call you/police. Wake up when the phone rings, your ride has been jacked, we're sending the police to intercept. Police find the criminals, arrests are made, less carjackers on the street. You get your ride back. Go back to sleep. Wake up in the morning, get ready for work. Walk outside and go to work in your ride.
Granted the GPS solution won't solve the vandalism part of car stuff, that's why you need the batmobile armor stuff, but you should get your car back unharmed, or the thieves will get hurt if they wreck it.
Here's the kicker. Most GPS based solutions that I've seen, the two above include, are a monthly fee with a "number of actions" charge. For 9.99 a month, you're allowed 10 "actions." What constitues an "action?" From securatrak's website:
QUOTE]What constitutes a "use"?
A use is any two-way cellular transmission between you and the service, e.g., a request by you and a confirmation from SecuraTrak. You are billed for a use of the SecuraTrak service each time you set, receive, test, or update an action. Please refer to the menu of services located in the User's Guide or at www.securatrak.net
to see what qualifies as a use of the service. To monitor the uses remaining in your subscription plan, visit the Billing History page of the My Account section. [/QUOTE]
So anytime you get info from the car, it costs you.
Intertrak and Securatrak have the same prices as far as the monthly charges are concerned.
I've researched this, and before I knew Intertrak and Securatrak existed, I was designing my own GPS alarm.
The feature I wanted was the ability to flip a switch that enables the GPS alarm. If the car moves at all, it will interface with a paging service and send me a page with location/speed/direction of the vehicle every couple of minutes so I could track the bastads down. I could care less about the horn honk, speed
monitoring and such - although that would be cool. I still fail to see how well that stuff will work in underground parking areas.
It's pretty easy to hook up a GPS unit with a small microcontroller that's interfaced to a two way pager, a couple of switches, or a keypad for coded activation/deactivation. Then the month service charge is just for the two way pager.
I've tried contacting Intertrak for general information, but have yet to recieve a response. I'd be interested in a group purchase for either one of these.