A Durban man has found a solution to a vehicle theft problem that is experienced around the world, and he plans to have his device fitted in 60 million new vehicles next year, as well as retrofitted in older cars globally – including in SA from January.
The idea, which is destined to make him SA’s next multibillionaire, took two days to think of and a month to get into production, with interest and partnerships already formed with vehicle manufacturing giants overseas.
Designer Selvanathan Narainsamy was enjoying a Nando’s lunch with his daughter when she asked him if it was possible to stop criminals from jamming car alarms.
“My son and daughter always test me, to see if I can find solutions, and when my daughter asked me about solving car jamming, I took it as a challenge, thought about it, and came up with a solution of the Remote Guard Anti-Jammer within two days.”
Remote jamming is a growing problem in SA and across the world.
It is the process where a criminal uses a simple domestic remote that operates on the same frequency as a motorist’s car remote.
The criminal presses the remote at the same time as the motorist, and the signal is interfered with, resulting in the car’s failing to lock.
As soon as the driver is out of sight, valuable items can be taken with ease or the vehicle itself stolen, without an alarm being triggered.
Narainsamy, who is the president of Radio Surveillance International, said he looked at the crime from a different angle.
Instead of thinking of ways to stop the jamming, he opted to find ways to alert drivers to interference with their signal.
Narainsamy’s device, which is located in the car remote, sends vibrations and beeps when the signal is jammed, alerting the driver to suspicious activities.
Realising the amazing potential of this device, he patented the idea before looking beyond the country’s borders to develop and mass produce his invention.
Daughter Adele Narainsamy, whose thought-provoking question led to the idea, said it was such an exciting moment for the family.
She said negotiations had gone well with major car manufacturing companies in Malaysia and South Korea.
Crime statistics released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa earlier this year suggested that while there had been a drop in the incidence of hijacking and vehicle theft, there had been an increase in vehicle looting.
All nine provinces experienced an increase, with Gauteng leading the way and KwaZulu-Natal a close second.
Adele Narainsamy said the new device could make a tremendous impact on lowering the figures, as they hoped to have the device in every car on the road.
Selvanathan Narainsamy said the device would also help insurance companies to follow up on claims as it was difficult to prove whether car jamming had taken place.
“Currently, insurers are not obliged to pay in jamming cases because it is difficult to prove, but the device not only prevents the crime, [it] is designed to record up to 100 data entries, which can be used to process a claim,” he said.
He said that the data extracted from the device could be used by insurance companies to determine whether the car was locked or whether the driver had been negligent and failed to lock the vehicle.
The Mercury’s sister paper, The Star, published an article earlier this year that said the ombudsman for short-term insurance ruled that, if clients were to suffer any loss due to a remote jamming scam, their claims would be rejected.
This is because they are supposed to check whether their cars are locked before walking away.
The ombudsman said that motorists should not assume that their cars were locked merely because they pushed a button.
Narainsamy said his device would address the issue directly and assist the motorist and insurance company.
The father-and-daughter team are to return to Malaysia early next month to finalise contracts and present the device to other global car manufacturers.