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Remotely influencing - US company to launch remote degradation system. 10/2/04
An American company has announced its intended launch of an after-market product capable of remotely degrading the engine power of a moving vehicle, through the use of a cellular 'phone.

The company, Datalogic International, becomes the latest to offer remote engine influencing technology that first saw the light of day in the early 1990s. Using GPS receivers in the vehicle, linked to an 802.11, GSM or CDMA protocol communications modem, the device is claimed to be able to provide vehicle owners with details of the location and current status of their vehicle, in addition to being able to degrade its engine power.

Enquiries of the company show that while the product is unlikely to be sold in the US, due to the concerns of the insurance industry, it has been sold to users in South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru. It is also understood that it will be made available to European states despite the fact that no EU member state currently allows for the remote degrading/influencing of engine power of moving vehicles. Systems in operation in Holland, Belgium and Germany, as well as a system proposed for the UK only prevents the re-starting of an engine that has been switched off by the driver.

"The problem is," said Superintendent Jim Hammond of Sussex Police and chairman of the European project group RESTORE, that is looking at the question of remote degradation, "no company has yet been able to produce a device that satisfies out concerns on safety and liability. At the same time we recognise that the risk of doing nothing is greater than the risk of doing something so we are looking at the development of a safe, remote degradation technology with a view to its introduction throughout Europe."

DataLogic's Panther vehicle tracking device is aimed largely at theft, recovery, and tracking services. The device can, it is claimed, either be installed (to allow control from a user's cell phone, PC, or landline) or be placed, with no connections (to allow a vehicle to report if it is stolen or has moved from its last parked position).

Further information, contact:
Robert Newell of DataLogic International, USA, Tel: #1-888-530-8228, E-mail: or
Superintendent Jim Hammond, Sussex Police, England. Tel: #44 1273 475 432
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