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LoJack system will allow parents, auto makers and insurance companies to track vehicles

November 25, 2013 03:30 PM ET

But Isaac said LoJack's systems would likely be voluntarily activated by vehicle owners. For example, if the vehicle owners agree to it, insurance companies could monitor driving habits and offer rate reductions based on good records.

Progressive Insurance offers a similar service today with its SnapShot monitoring device. Drivers can plug the dongle into their vehicle's OBD II port and it wirelessly transmits information such as how often the driver makes hard brakes, how many miles the car is driven each day and how often the vehicle is driven between midnight and 4 a.m.

For the consumer, a LoJack telematics device will be able to not only monitor where family vehicles are located and track driving behavior, but notifications could be sent showing when vehicles travel out of pre-set bounds. Parents, through a Bluetooth connection in the vehicle, could restrict their teenage drivers from texting or talking on their smartphones while driving, according to Isaac.

"For us the connected car is about introducing technology to support safe driving. We want to be able to deploy this type of technology to the family fleet -- the family fleet being your loved ones," Issac said. "Who's driving, what they're doing, how they're performing, where they're going, if there are any incidents, what their behavior is."

Data from a vehicle telematics tracking device would be stored in a cloud system owned and managed by LoJack, which would also be responsible for authorizing data access.

Consumers, for example, could log in to the cloud and set up vehicle parameters. An owner could set up "geo fences" or boundaries in which vehicles are meant to remain. Alerts would be sent if vehicles venture outside those boundaries.

Isaac admitted there are likely to be concerns around privacy with in-vehicle data collection devices, but he said LoJack is not going to be in the business of mining data or selling data to third parties.

"There's always going to be an issue with who's looking at my data and should I have privacy concerns," he said. "We're purely looking at this as your data and using that information for the safety, security and protection of your loved ones."

"Whoever owns the product and the property should own the data," he added. "If it's a manufacturer, they're going to want to own the data."

This article, LoJack system will allow parents, automakers and insurance companies to track vehicles, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at Twitter @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed Mearian RSS. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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