Australia’s Car Theft Crisis – And How GPS is Solving It

52,858 vehicles were stolen in Australia during 2017. That’s about one car every 10 minutes.

This unsettling statistic was released alongside nationwide vehicle theft numbers for 2017, but the issue has been in headlines – and on the minds of vehicle owners – for much longer than that.

Australia’s rate of vehicle theft has been rising for years, and despite a slight dip in thefts in 2017, the issue is one that law enforcement has found challenging to tackle. In fact, despite police’s best efforts, about 45% of all Australian passenger and light commercial vehicles are at a medium to high risk of theft.

With the danger of theft this high, most car and business owners are asking two important questions: ‘What do I need to worry about?’ and ‘How do I protect my assets?’

Let’s start with the first question. Here’s what you need to worry about: a snapshot of Australia’s car theft problem. (We’ll explain how GPS can help protect vehicles and other assets straight after!)

 

Australia’s Car Theft Problem

What kind of problem are we looking at? Who should be worried about their cars? Let’s run the numbers:

The 2015/2016 year is the latest for which full data is available. Over 54,000 vehicles were stolen that year. 

What’s being Stolen?

  • 80% were passenger/light commercial vehicles
  • 15% were motorcycles; and
  • 5% were classified as ‘other vehicles’ (such as heavy trucks and tractors).
  • 46% of passenger and light commercial vehicles had a medium to high risk of theft in 2015/16
  • Estimated value of passenger and light commercial vehicles stolen in Australia in 2015/16 was $499.7 million.

How is it being Stolen?

  • More than 50% of all vehicles were stolen from a residence in 2015/16
  • Most vehicles are stolen between 4pm and midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Sports cars have the highest theft rate
  • 29% of stolen vehicles are never recovered

Statistics courtesy of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.

 

How GPS is Solving Vehicle Theft in Australia

The idea is simple – if you can track a stolen vehicle, you can lead police directly to it.

For this reason, car and business owners are looking increasingly to GPS tracking systems for an affordable anti-theft tool.

Modern GPS can offer 24/7 vehicle tracking, and can provide a number of specialised anti-theft features including:

  • Alerts when vehicle doors are unlocked or opened
  • Anytime tracking access via smartphone or computer
  • Small, easy to conceal trackers that thieves cannot locate or remove
  • Remote vehicle shut down

The ability to track and follow thieves has proven effective and affordable on an individual and business basis. So much so, that Australian police forces are testing it out for themselves.

 

Victoria Police Trial GPS for Anti-Theft

Nearly 16,000 vehicles were stolen in Victoria alone last year.

This statistic, along with the effectiveness of GPS tracking for catching vehicle thieves, has prompted the Victoria Police to launch an official anti-theft GPS tracking trial. Last September, 1,000 cars were fitted with GPS devices that can pinpoint vehicles to within a few metres.

The hope is that this trial will allow officers to not only find stolen vehicles, but crack down on other types of crime as well.

“The serious crimes that we see in this state, whether it be drive-by shootings, armed robberies or commercial burglaries, on the large majority of occasions there is always a stolen vehicle involved and that enables the crime,” Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said.

 

Learn More About GPS Tracking

If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Tracking is solving the vehicle theft issue and what it might do for you or your business, have a read through our website or get in touch:

 

Contact Us
1300 766 764
info@blackboxcontrol.com.au

blackboxcontrol.com.au

5 Things You Didn’t Know GPS Tracking Could Do

5 things you didn't know GPS tracking could do

Google Maps, getting directions, and the handy GPS navigation screen in the centre console of modern cars: these are the most common associations people have with GPS tracking.

But recent advancements in GPS technology have taken the utility much further. Car owners and police forces alike are using GPS as an anti-theft device. Driver behaviour, detailed trip reports, and custom details like door locking and oil temperature can be tracked to keep business owners on top of operations. And as the use of GPS spreads further through city and state networks in Australia and the world, tracking is being used by governments to analyse how entire industries perform.

Here are five new and exciting ways GPS tracking can help people and businesses.

Stop Thieves in Their Tracks

You may have known that GPS can be used to track thieves and stolen equipment, but did you know that some GPS trackers can also give theft alerts to the owner and disable vehicles remotely in the event of a theft?

These new features stop thieves in their tracks, but location tracking alone makes GPS a powerful and affordable anti-theft tool. If a vehicle with tracking is stolen, owners can give police the whereabouts of the car – and if the criminal too, if they’re driving it.

For this reason many Australian car owners are considering purchasing GPS for peace of mind, and many business owners are considering the benefits of asset recovery and financial security.

Initial success in using GPS to track and apprehend thieves has even prompted several Australian police forces to launch trials. Melbourne Police recently installed GPS trackers on 1,000 civilian cars in areas with a high risk of vehicle theft. Any car that gets stolen will be immediately traceable, and the police will test how effective this method really can be.

 

Track Driver Behaviour & Road Safety

It used to be that police or driver complaints were the only way a dispatcher or business owner knew how drivers were performing. Now, modern GPS can provide information on where drivers are, how fast they’ve been going, evidence of harsh braking, and even details like oil temperature and when doors are locked and unlocked.

These benefits apply to small and medium businesses as well as truckies and dispatchers.

MLC Roof Services, for example, started with a fleet of four vehicles. Operations Manager Marius Crisan describes his experience with GPS and driver behaviour:

“When we first started, for the first few months there was no Driver Behavior feature for our fleet. We were getting a flurry of speeding fines coming through and something needed to be done. There were no specific parameters when we took it on board but from harsh braking, to accelerating to speeding…Driver Behavior can monitor it all. We ensured our team was on board with this feature and with the help of this data, we created an internal incentive system. For instance, they could get half an hour extra per week if their score meets a particular threshold based on the Driver Behavior. The team is notified of their performance every week, and thus we have created a system that works really well for us.”

Read the full story in our interview with MLC Roof Services.

 

Provide Easy-Access Reports and Custom Alerts

Truly modern GPS systems include easy-access interfaces and custom reports.

A business owner can pull out his or her phone to review where tracked assets are, and even set alerts to pop up if specific events should occur (for anything from a speed violation to a maintenance reminder).

Vehicles and assets can be personalised with custom labels, full trip history can be reviewed with the click of a button, and information can be organised to suit a business’s specific needs.

Learn more about custom reports at incontroltracking.com.au, our easy to use interface.

Help Make Smart Business Decisions

Beyond understanding driver and trip details, GPS data is now being used to make business decisions.

Fuel costs, trip times, job times, and other important data points can identify patterns in business operations when logged over time. This valuable information is helping business owners cut costs, provide excellent service, and stay ahead of the competition.

Provide Exceptional Customer Service

The more information a business owner has, the better they can serve their customers.

GPS lets owners provide accurate ETA times and rapidly respond to customer requests or queries. In the age of instant satisfaction, that can be the difference between a sale and a lost patron.

In some cases, GPS can even be used to protect the safety of customers. Adam Sands of RedSands Campers comments:

“I really liked the idea of looking after the safety of our clients, especially as many of them are from overseas and are travelling remote regions of Australia. I also wanted to protect my assets as it is important that each of our clients is provided with a well-maintained vehicle.”

Read the full story in our interview with RedSands Campers.

 

Learn More about GPS Tracking in Australia

If you’d like to learn more about GPS and what it might do for you or your business, have a read through our website or get in touch.

 

blackboxcontrol.com.au
1300 766 764
info@blackboxcontrol.com.au
Contact Us

One-on-one with Marius from MLC Roof Services

Marius Crisan is the main man behind MLC Roof Services, one of Perth’s growing service companies for commercial roof maintenance services. With a dynamic team, MLC Roof Services required a reliable GPS Tracking Solution that could help them meet their business objectives. We caught up with Marius to hear the story of his company and how he decided to use BlackBox Control.

What is the story behind MLC Roof Services? 

We started operating in 2009, and a couple of years we later became a private limited company. In the early stages, we did a lot of insurance roof work but soon after we moved into doing more of commercial roof maintenance. Since then we have built a strong network of clients in this space and are proud of the work that we do.

What prompted the need to use GPS Tracking for MLC Roof Services?

We are now at a point where we have grown a fair bit through the years – from being subcontractors to having permanent full timers. And with that comes the added hassle of maintaining a fleet of company vehicles. Initially we had 4 vehicles that our team were using – but we didn’t quite exactly know the movement of the vehicles or how many hours they were spending on each job. We sometimes do emergency call-outs and having the ability to know where our team members are located makes my job a lot easier. 

What does MLC Roof Services currently use BlackBox Control for? 

We use BlackBox Control’s GPS Tracking Solutions to mostly locate the positioning of our fleet throughout the working day. Our cars are relatively new so to ensure they are being used correctly and not recklessly…the Driver Behavior is a big thing for us. We also use it for day to day data analysis, for instance monitoring the service dates or the odometer reading. The automation of it all makes my life easier.

Could you elaborate on how you currently use the Driver Behavior feature? 

Certainly. When we first started, for the first few months there was no Driver Behavior feature for our fleet. We were getting a flurry of speeding fines coming through and something needed to be done. There were no specific parameters when we took it on board but from harsh braking, to accelerating to speeding…Driver Behavior can monitor it all. We ensured our team was on board with this feature and with the help of this data, we created an internal incentive system. For instance, they could get half an hour extra per week if their score meets a particular threshold based on the Driver Behavior. The team is notified of their performance every week, and thus we have created a system that works really well for us. 

What would you say are the biggest benefits of using BlackBox Control’s tracking services? 

Other than the benefits outlined above, scheduling calls makes the task of looking after vehicles simpler. The overall platform is functional, and it takes the whole weight of worry away from servicing to scheduling to positioning.

How has the BlackBox Control experience been so far? 

The experience has been great. BlackBox Control’s account manager, Trevor, has always been there if we had any questions. It’s an easy interface to use and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone. I have it on my desktop, I have it on the go. It’s a fully functional platform, it’s well thought out and it’s detailed – but there’s a balance to it. We don’t use all the tools available because it could lead us to over analyzing everything but it allows us to do specifically what we need for our business. And that’s brilliant. 

I would give it a 10 out of 10, and will highly recommend it to anyone! 

 

BlackBox Control aims to empower Australian businesses with reliable GPS Tracking solutions. Working with MLC Roof Services has been a real pleasure for us and we are very excited to see how Marius carries on!

To find out more of what we can do for your business, you can contact Trevor directly. Alternatively you can call us at 1300 766 764 or fill up the contact form here.

One-on-one with Matthew King of Department of Conservation, Biodiversity and Attractions

While one may typically relate GPS Tracking to road transport, one of BlackBox Control’s biggest users are on water. For over a decade now, BlackBox Control have provided custom solutions to WA’s State Government entity, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

We sat down to have a quick chat with Matthew King, Commercial Business Coordinator for Parks and Wildlife Service – part of the DBCA. Matthew has been with DCBA for 9 years now and plays a key role in BlackBox Control’s involvement with the Department.

What does the DBCA do?

Matthew: DBCA is short for Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and it is combined with the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, Rottnest Island Authority, Zoological Parks Authority and Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Parks and Wildlife Service, which essentially uses the tracking solution provided by BlackBox Control, focuses on the protection of wildlife, national and marine parks and nature reserves across Australia.

What prompted the need to get GPS Tracking for your Department?

M: There was a requirement for monitoring operators specifically in the Shark Bay region where there are restricted areas. There was a variable condition that only one of the operators could operate within that restricted area, whereas the other operators couldn’t. So initially, tracking was brought on for the purpose of monitoring compliance among the operators. Today, we have multiple operations in various locations that use the BlackBox Control solutions for similar compliance purposes.

What does the DBCA currently use BlackBox Control for? In what ways has it helped your Department?

M: The main project, which is probably the most successful one, is the whale shark operations. Each vessel has a tracking unit which allows us to track where the vessels have travelled, both in real time and by way of historical reconstruction of trips. In addition to recording the number of passengers on each tour, by using the BlackBox Control solution, the operators can now capture data like the size of the whale shark, the sex, where that whale shark interaction occurred, and the duration of each interaction…all at the push of a button. This information is crucial to the Department year in year out. The solution is also used on various whale watching and tourist vessels within the south west, mainly for compliance reasons.

Previously, much of the information mentioned above had to be done manually on paperwork then sent to the DBCA for the data to be entered. Whereas now with the BlackBox Control solution, everything is automated. With the press of a few buttons, all the required data is recorded, and the BlackBox tracking platform allows you to instantly see a map showing vessel locations and activities.

The solution also helps with invoicing. For example, whale shark operators have a license charge per passenger so utilising the recorded passenger counts allows our Department to invoice the operators directly based on those numbers. This also allows for greater transparency and trust between the operators and ourselves, as they see the exact same data as we do.

Is there any operation in particular where BlackBox Control’s solutions have helped DBCA achieve its business objectives?

M: From a compliance perspective, the data from the BlackBox Control solutions are extremely crucial. As mentioned, we need to know exactly where the operators are due to the restrictions of zones in the Shark Bay area. In one recent instance, it has led to a successful prosecution of an operator who has contravened some area restrictions. This emphasises the credibility of the data and tracking information in that it can be used from an evidentiary point of view.

How has the experience been so far with BlackBox Control?

M: It has been very positive. The platform is simple and straightforward. It has created a lot of efficiencies through automation as mentioned earlier…both in the operational regions and in our branch and head offices. The operators and our Department have found many advantages utilising each of these customised solutions.

What is one area that you think BlackBox Control really excels?

M: From my point of view, the technology around the portal is very easy to use. I am based in the head office, not in the regional area. So even though I am far away from it all, I can quickly get into the portal and look up any information as needed if anyone has a question for me regarding the operations. The process is seamless and to me that’s where BlackBox Control really delivers.

What do you think will be the future of GPS Tracking in the industry?

M: We are heading down a path where the cost of compliance out in the water is getting too high. Getting reliable tracking units for our vessels where we can check on all the data we need seems like a no-brainer when compared to the alternatives out there. I believe that solutions as such will see a lot of use in the future as there’s real opportunity to use this system in a lot of different scenarios.

BlackBox Control aims to empower Australia with GPS Tracking and provide realistic and valuable solutions to various industries. Working with DBCA has been a real pleasure for us and we look forward to a continuing relationship.

To find out more of what we can do for your business, call us at 1300 766 764 or fill up the contact form here.

One-on-one with Adam Sands of RedSands Campers

RedSands Campers are providers of fully equipped 4WD Campers that clients can hire for for travelling and exploring Australia. Based in Bayswater, Western Australia, RedSands Campers started their journey with the mission of providing the best possible 4WD campers, so that clients may experience the ultimate self-drive Australian adventure.

We caught up with Adam Sands, the founder and Managing Director of RedSands Campers, to talk about all things campers and trackers.

What is the story behind RedSands Campers?

Adam:  RedSands Campers evolved from our family’s passion for travel. We are a family owned and operated business. We designed these vehicles based on how we would want to travel ourselves. Once we decided to get going, we hit the ground running with a few vehicles. It has grown organically ever since with a focus on high quality vehicles and really high level of customer service.

How did you come across BlackBox Control?

A: It was actually through a corporate golf day! We started discussing our vehicles and Neville, the Senior Account Manager for BlackBox Control, explained the advantages of being able to track your assets. I really liked the idea of looking after the safety of our clients, especially as many of them are from overseas and are travelling remote regions of Australia. I also wanted to protect my assets as it is important that each of our clients is provided with a well-maintained vehicle.

What would you say are the biggest benefits of using BlackBox Control’s tracking services?

A: Probably the biggest benefit is getting the data on how our vehicles are being driven. This information is very reliable and it helps us in various ways with our business. For example, it helps keep our clients safe and helps us understand where they are. The benefits go beyond a single solution as they are not just from a customer behavior perspective, but from a manufacturer perspective as well, ensuring optimum performance at all times.

 

 

Could you think of a particular incident where the BlackBox Control solution has helped you?

A: The best thing about it all is the high accuracy of the tracking. There was an  incident just before Christmas 2017. One of our clients took the vehicles to a prohibited area. We got an alert immediately and contacted the client. Upon its return, there was approximately $3,500 worth of damage to the under body of the vehicle due to the speed at which it was travelling in that area.

The clients understood the obligations under the terms and conditions, and we were able to repair the car and bring it back to pre-hire conditions. If we didn’t have the tracking on the vehicle with such accuracy, we would have been none the wiser. Those damages would have presented themselves down the track, and could have resulted in a safety issue for another client.

You have been with us for 18 months now and have 15 tracking units for your fleet. How has your experience been with us so far?

A: Nothing but fantastic! From the installation of the trackers into the vehicles, from Neville providing support and in-depth training to the staff, the whole process has been seamless. He has represented BlackBox Control by providing a great level of hands on services. It’s imperative that our staff understand how the tracking system works so they can use it efficiently. It’s a very powerful tool for fleet management but it’s not easy to learn on its own.  That’s where the support helps.

There’s lots of tracking companies out there, and the difference is the experience and relationship you have with your clients. Whenever we have got any questions or if we need to set up new logins, or we need to pull out data…the response time has always been swift and that is important to us. From installers, to the manager, and the product: the whole experience with BlackBox Control has been fantastic.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature

BlackBox Control’s mission is to empower Australian businesses with GPS Tracking and RedSands Campers is a prime example of our commitment to that mission.

To find out more of what we can do for your business, call us at 1300 766 764 or fill up the contact form here.

Top 5 Reasons To Use GPS Tracking For Your Fleet in Australia

With Australia’s unique economy, many businesses utilize fleets for business operations . Existing businesses who use GPS Tracking for fleet management already know the importance of the technology, but if you are new to the industry and still unsure about GPS Tracking – here are top 5 reasons why you need to use GPS Tracking for fleet management in Australia.

Fuel Cost Reduction
GPS vehicle tracking features can almost always let you to monitor and subsequently help reduce fuel costs. One such feature is monitoring the speed of your vehicles. Maintaining the speed limits can significantly affect the fuel usage and in turn reduce the amount of fuel used by your vehicles. BlackBox Control’s vehicle tracking solutions provide speed information and alert you, so that you are aware when a vehicle exceeds set speed thresholds. Upon cross referencing with other relevant data, you can make an informed decision of how efficiently you can use your fuel.

Furthermore, you can track if your vehicle is on idle mode. Excessive idling has contributed to high fuel costs for many businesses in Australia. Unproductive usage of fuel for climate control can cut a hole in your pocket. GPS Tracking allows you to reduce idling times by alerting you when vehicles idle longer than a preset duration so you can take corrective action. You can also monitor routes taken by drivers and consider more efficient ways in which to operate your fleet.

Driver Performance
Drivers are an integral part of your fleet management. Therefore, it is paramount to your business to know what GPS Tracking can do to help the drivers of your fleet.

BlackBox Control provides a variety of information regarding driving behaviour, including vehicle speed, engine start-up and shut-down, idling time and of course, mapping movement.

This information will allow your business to have practical policies for driving and training your drivers for efficiency. It can also help you to manage risks in the case of curbing unwanted behaviours such as excessive speeding, vehicle idling and tardiness if initiated by the driver.

Increasing Security and Safety
GPS Tracking can help improve security and safety of your staff and your fleet. For instance, if your business is in the mining industry and it requires movement of your vehicles in remote locations, you need to be able to know the whereabouts and status of staff. GPS Tracking your fleet can alert you in the case of stolen vehicles, accidents and poor driving behaviours. Whether it’s a working day or after-hours – you can stay alert if a vehicle is used outside the guidelines.

BlackBox features include alerting functions that let you know when vehicles are due for routine maintenance. Proper maintenance ensures that your vehicles are compliant with safety guidelines and can help reduce repair costs in the long run.

Enhancing Customer Service with Improved Routing and Dispatching
Customer service is integral part of any business. A proper tracking platform, like BlackBox Control provides, gives the ability to direct drivers to a job site – which in turn lets you provide immaculate service for your customers.

Fleet owners know the exact location of every fleet vehicle. This gives dispatchers the ability to effectively direct drivers to any job site, or redirect drivers due to delays and changing circumstances.

GPS Tracking solutions also allow you to locate and dispatch the closest vehicle to any job site. In doing so, fleet managers will know if drivers use the vehicles for unauthorized journeys or take extended routes to job sites. This reduces fuel usage and vehicle mileage, and increases the number of jobs completed per day.

Better routing and dispatching helps you get to your customers more quickly. You will also be able to determine when a vehicle arrived on a job and when it left, providing accurate and verifiable proof of services.

Using Reports and Alerts
GPS Tracking solutions allow you to generate concise and easy to understand reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. In addition, you have the ability to gain instant access to reports at the click of a few buttons. The data can be organized to give you information about daily vehicle activity, speeding violations, violations of company driving policy, a complete list of vehicle starts and stops, excessive idling times and much more.

GPS Tracking platforms can allow you to have extensive historical reporting functions. Using data mining techniques, you can compare the performance between two employees, or compare an employee’s performance against the company average in areas such as speeding, idling, kilometers driven and engine on or off times.

_

If your business is new to GPS Tracking, then it is high time for you to integrate GPS technology and when it comes to GPS Tracking, you have to look no further than BlackBox Control. Our industry expertise and credibility that come with a TCA certification and alignment with ISO 9001:2015 among many others. Rest assured, BlackBox Control is a leading name for GPS Tracking in Australia that provides you the solution you need.

The website is live!

We are live with our website! Keeping in line with our resolutions going into the new financial year, we have worked on a brand new look for our website.

As you navigate, you will find the website has a modern new look with a focus towards simplicity and relevancy. The challenge was to migrate information from the previous website whilst maintaining the crucial aspects of our dynamic range of products and services.

This is only the first phase of our launch, so going forward you will see more changes embracing and showcasing the values of BlackBox Control.

We will see you around.

The BlackBox Control Team.