The report covers a comprehensive study of automobile theft and anti-theft system design. A vehicle theft survey was conducted consisting of a literature search and interviews with a wide range of expert sources, including law enforcement officials, insurance personnel, automobile manufacturers, and automobile thieves. The data, which include up-to-date statistics on theft rates, motives, methods, and costs, were analyzed to identify and rank the important performance criteria for anti-theft systems. Based on these criteria, a conceptual design study was conducted to identify anti-theft system concepts. Several promising system concepts were found, and a remote steering lock coded by means of a keyboard in the passenger compartment was selected as optimum for the test system. It was fabricated and installed in a test vehicle. Prior to the installation of the improved system, the factory-equipped locked vehicle was mobilized by an amateur test subject in 50 seconds. The improved system resisted the efforts of a retired professional auto thief who gave up the effort after nearly 17 minutes. This was well beyond the design goal of 10 minutes. The ultimate consumer price increase to cover the system is estimated to be between $17 and $36. This is well below the design goal of $50 which was based on the expected average savings in theft costs over the life of the vehicle. As a result of the survey and the design program, a modified safety standard based on minimum time-to-defeat is recommended as the most straightforward and least design-restrictive approach.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • See also Volume 2, PB-296809.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Little (Arthur D), Incorporated

    Acorn Park
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02140

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Howland, J S
  • Publication Date: 1978-12

Media Info

  • Pagination: 23 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00198198
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: ADL-C-81215-1 Final Rpt., DOT-HS-804-339
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-HS-7-01723
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 15 1979 12:00AM