With prices climbing for new cars and trucks — and thefts increasing as well — demand is high for theft prevention solutions that keep vehicles safe and secure. RecovR is a new market entrant. Consumers, auto dealers and even insurance companies are drawn to the device’s wireless technology, ease of use, and precision in preventing car theft, among other things. RecovR marketing director Christopher Schouten explained how their device addresses these concerns in this exclusive interview with TechBullion.
Q: Can you tell me more about RecovR and the solutions offered?
A: Absolutely. RecovR is a product of the Kudelski Group’s IoT division, an international technology corporation established in 1951 that serves several different segments, including IoT, digital television, public access and cybersecurity. The device is a battery-powered, standalone GPS tracker intended to allow consumers to know at any instant where their vehicles are located.
As you may know, vehicle theft jumped significantly in 2020 — up 9.2% over 2019. And our surveys showed that more than half of people about to buy a new vehicle are very or somewhat concerned about theft.
We designed RecovR to be installed and configured by dealers in less than a minute. Technicians need only a minimal amount of training because it’s so simple. The unit itself is quite small – roughly the size of a deck of cards.
Q: Talk me through the technology. Once RecovR is installed in a vehicle, what can it track/manage?
A: Well, once it is installed, the device tracks location by GPS, Bluetooth Low Energy or WiFi. That location is only visible to the car’s owner in our mobile app. So you’re getting constant updates on where the vehicle is, and even if it has been moved without permission (“Lock Location”). The location is then communicated using multiple cellular networks with nationwide coverage, so if you’re in New York and someone has managed to nab your vehicle and driven to Chicago before you’ve noticed, RecovR will show you that the thief is on Lake Shore Drive, heading to the Navy Pier, for example.
But it also means that if you have a RecovR device installed in your vehicle and you forgot where you parked it at the mall, you can instantly be directed to its exact location. Many people appreciate that. But, primarily, the device is intended to aid in theft recovery by letting vehicle owners share a link with law enforcement so they can track down the vehicle quickly and return it to its rightful owner. But again, only the owner has access to location information unless they choose to share it. And sharing location for quick recovery is really the power of RecovR, because the built-in GPS tracking in some newer cars doesn’t allow for that.
Q: Can you expand on the importance of a wireless IoT solution?
A: We studied the previous generation of theft prevention devices closely before developing RecovR. They required wiring to work, connecting the device to a vehicle’s electrical system.
That’s a problem first of all because of the technical challenges of installing the device. A dealership’s technicians need extensive training to learn how to connect such a device properly, and if it’s not done properly, the car can end up in the shop. The second issue is that doing so can interfere with the rest of the vehicle’s electrical system and potentially void the manufacturers’ warranty. The third problem is that you’re in an awkward position if the buyer declines to purchase the device. You either have to let the vehicle go with the device installed and not recover anything for your time and expenses or spend yet more time removing it.
By being wireless and functioning as other IoT wireless devices do, we circumvent all of the problems associated with the wired versions and make installation and use effortless and risk-free.
Q: How does RecovR benefit dealerships?
A: Several ways. We offer RecovR for free to dealerships – there’s literally no upfront cost. As I mentioned, our surveys showed that a majority of people buying new vehicles are worried about theft. They also told us they’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars for theft-prevention devices such as RecovR. This is an opportunity for dealers to sell RecovR as a value-added service to new car buyers at the Finance & Insurance desk, explaining the benefits of the service. That revenue is then divided between the dealership and RecovR. We have a calculator on our website that shows how much a dealership can expect to earn for a given level of sales.
On top of that, RecovR can serve as a lot management solution for dealerships before the vehicle is sold, giving them up-to-the-minute visibility of their entire inventory; where cars are in the onboarding process, if they’re out for a test drive, or if they’ve been stolen. That can have tremendous operational benefits, especially at large dealerships that have expansive lots and busy salespeople and service facilities. It can also help lower garage keepers’ insurance.
Q: Are there any other benefits to consumers from using RecovR?
A: Yes. Insurance companies appreciate the value that RecovR provides in recovering stolen vehicles. Statistics show the quicker a vehicle is recovered, the less damage there is that needs to be repaired.
So, many insurance companies are willing to give consumers discounts on their rates if they have RecovR installed. Furthermore, RecovR will pay a customer up to $6,000 if a vehicle is stolen and not recovered. That covers both the insurance deductible and as well as helping to many of the hidden costs of having to purchase a new vehicle after theft. When we spelled out all these details to the hundreds of new car buyers across the U.S. who took our survey, we found that 56 percent were willing to purchase such a service.
Q: What sets RecovR apart from its competitors?
A: Other solutions are wired and thus subject to all the issues we’ve discussed. That’s why they’re losing popularity and even going out of business. RecovR as a wireless solution is unique.
Since RecovR’s technology is built by one of the world’s foremost security experts, Kudelski IoT, we can also guarantee the privacy of personal information for RecovR users. Our team has implemented the most advanced security technologies to ensure a private and reliable solution for the customer. Our device goes far beyond other solutions to set the gold standard for consumer privacy protection. We don’t think there’s any question when it comes to vehicle-theft recovery devices, RecovR stands alone.
Q: How is RecovR’s technology enhancing the auto security industry?
A: Our technology represents the elegant, simple solution that the auto security industry has long needed. Consumers will know at any moment where their vehicles are, and RecovR enables law enforcement to track a stolen vehicle in real time for quick recovery.
But the word “security” does raise a final important point. We’ve seen popular solutions that leave themselves wide open to security breaches; holes that would allow anyone to track the location of someone’s vehicle without anything in place to stop it. We’ve taken extensive measures with our device to prevent private data from being compromised, even by the most determined hackers. Buyers are increasingly concerned about people getting access to their personal information, so we’ve designed RecovR not only to provide great protection of their vehicle, but also of their data.