Wireless Automobile Barrier
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jan-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a wireless barrier strip system to protect against unwanted vehicle thefts. The system is capable of discriminating between protected vehicles and unprotected vehicles by allowing unprotected vehicles to enter and leave a protected site without physical damage or intervention by an authorized person. Spiked barriers strips that prevent vehicle theft from parking lots cause physical damage to a vehicle if an attempt is made to remove it without authorization. These spiked barriers work in a manner similar to a diode in an electrical circuit. They allow vehicles to pass in one direction only. Travel in the opposing directions will cause the vehicle's tires to be punctured. These barriers don't discriminate between protected vehicles owned by the facilities owner and those that accidentally enter the protected area. In order to protect a vehicle from being removed from a designated area a wireless device is integrated into the ignition system of the vehicle. The wireless device will be able to both transmit and receive. The protected area is surrounded by a physical barrier such as a fence or some type of barrier that precludes vehicles from driving over them. For example, a concrete barrier. Well defined entry points and exit points are also defined. At the entry and exit points, a wireless transceiver of sufficient power is installed. The transceiver will be capable of receiving a vehicle's ID transmitted in response to a query, signalling a disable signal and may possess vehicle directional determination information. If desired, the transceiver can be a networked device. A server on the network can be setup to maintain audit trails on all portal (entry/exit points) clients and events experienced at each individual portal. The portal client, if intelligent enough, can be enabled to receive policy rules setup by an authorized person and take actions based upon those rules. The wireless device installed in a vehicle will provide the capability to transmit an ID when queried, disable the ignition system when a disable signal is received and prevent starting once a disable signal is received until an authorized person activates a keylock to re-enable the ignition. In one embodiment, the vehicle based on its ID is included in an authorized list if it is allowed to enter or exit the protected area. If the vehicle's ID is not found in the authorized list when in range of an entry or exit portal, the portal will be instructed to transmit the disable signal. Once received the vehicle's ignition is cut off and will not restart until a special action is taken by an authorized person. For example, a key switch hidden in the car can reactivate the ignition if activated or a special password is entered on some type of keypad. Once an ID is placed on the authorized list, the vehicle associated with that ID may traverse through any portal, in either direction, without being disabled. Since the event is traceable, the portal can transmit each event through the portal to a host computer for logging or auditing purposes. Free access to the protected area can occur multiple times until the authorized person takes an action to remove the vehicle's ID from the authorized list. In an alternate embodiement the authorization list includes an expiration date upon which the vehicle is no longer free to leave the protected area.