"The basis of this system is trust," says Sencun Zhu, assistant professor of computer science and engineering. "You need to trust the entity that distributes the system's sensors, so you can rely on all the monitored cars having the goal of protecting your car and others from theft."
Working with Guohong Cao, associate professor of computer science and engineering, and Hui Song, recent Penn State graduate and now an assistant professor at Frostburg State University, Zhu developed a monitoring system that relies on a network formed by the cars parked in a parking lot. When a car enters a lot and parks, the sensor is alerted – probably when the car door locks -- and it sends out a signal that in essence says, "hello, I am here." Sensors in nearby cars acknowledge the signal and incorporate the new car into their network. Periodically, each car sends out a signal indicating that it is still there. When the driver unlocks the car, the sensor sends out a "goodbye" message and the network removes that car, and it drives away.
If, however, a car leaves the network without issuing a goodbye message, the other cars will notice the absence or the "still here" message. Once the system has confirmed that the car is gone, checking that other cars have not received the "still here" message, the monitoring sensor sends a signal identifying the car to the base unit in the parking lot, which will phone the owner to indicate the car is missing. The owner can then check it out.
"Our thought is that the apartment complex owner could provide the sensors with the parking stickers as an additional free perk," says Zhu, also assistant professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State. "All they need is the base unit, the car owner's phone number and the sensors in the car for the car should be safe in the lot."
If a car is stolen from the lot, it is preferable that the theft be noticed and reported before the car leaves the lot, but if it is not, the Sensor network-based Vehicle Anti-Theft system, SVATS, has another layer of protection.
Although the main or master sensor needs to be connected to the car's power system and so is fairly easily disabled by thieves, other slave sensors would be distributed in the car. These sensors might be activated when the master sensor no longer operates and begin to send out an identification signal. The researchers hope to be able to use existing wireless devices that are at intersections and roadsides, to track the sensors in the stolen car. While these wireless nodes are not on every street, in areas where they are used to sense traffic patterns, stop light timing and other things, they can be used to track stolen cars. Because the slave sensors are very small, they would be very difficult to locate and destroy, while conventional location equipment, such as various G.P.S. systems, can be identified and neutralized.
"Right now the sensors we are testing are about the size of a dollar coin with leads coming off," says Zhu. "We will eventually make them only about a cubic millimeter, small enough to embed in a parking sticker and very inexpensive to manufacture." A cubic millimeter is about the size of an ice cream sprinkle.
The researchers presented information on their system at the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer's Infocom 2008 Conference in Phoenix. Experimental evaluation of the SVATS system used a laptop as a base station and one sensor per vehicle in a Penn State parking lot. The base station transmitted once per second while the vehicle sensors sent live messages every 200 milliseconds. Each sensor could monitor up to seven other nodes but should be monitored by at least three other nodes.
The researchers tested two different detection methods. The signature-based method took four to nine seconds to detect the absence of the stolen vehicle. This method requires that at least three nodes recognize that the stolen car has moved before sending an alert. Because of this requirement, there are no false positives and consequently, no false alarms. The system works in a parking lot and can track stolen vehicles.
According to Zhu, street parking is more difficult to deal with than parking lots, however, he believes that if apartment buildings along the street band together to provide sensors and base stations it might work as well. Because of the trust problem, he does not see the sensors being incorporated into cars from the factory, because identifying who owns which car and sensor would be difficult. Rather, Zhu thinks that perhaps eventually, some government office like a state's department of transportation could provide the sensors and keep track of the vehicles.
While the plan now is to have the base station contact the car owner by phone, eventually the option of having the call go to a protective service or the police for a fee is possible.
A'ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Self-driving cars for country roads
07.05.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences