BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  Sci/Tech
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
What your mechanic is really doing
TrakM8
The black box which caught out the garage mechanic
If you have ever wondered what happens to your car when you take it to a garage, then a text message might just be able to help.

In-car tracking systems are usually intended to keep tabs on stolen cars, but the technology can have additional benefits, as one Manchester man recently found out.

The man, known only as Mr G, purchased a global positioning satellite system called TrakM8 from Dorset firm Interactive Projects.

TrakM8 can be set to send an SMS text message to a mobile phone for a variety of purposes such as if the driver has broken down or is in other difficulties.

It also has a feature that alerts the driver via SMS when the car is going above the speed limit.

Caught out


The service manager couldn't believe it and nearly died of embarrassment

Mr G
This feature proved revealing when Mr G took his car in for a routine service.

When the car should have been in the garage, he received a series of SMS messages telling him that his BMW was actually speeding through the streets of Manchester.

"Someone was obviously driving it with some welly and I wasn't too happy as it was a new car," said Mr G.

"I called the garage with some pretty angry messages and the service manager couldn't believe it and nearly died of embarrassment," he explained.

"The really funny thing was that he had fitted the system two days earlier,"

Satisfying moment

This added benefit of the TrakM8 system could prove useful for people keen to keep an eye on their mechanic's use of their car, said Karen Knapton of Interactive Projects.

"We would have loved to see the service manager's face when he was shown the action replay of the abused car," she said.

"It must have been one of those satisfying moments.

"We all know this kind of thing happens but it's great to be able to prove it," she said.

See also:

15 Mar 02 | Europe
Satellite decision draws near
27 Jun 01 | Business
Traffic jam firm in a pickle
02 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Cars which see in the dark
23 Aug 99 | Sci/Tech
Navigation bug fails to bite
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Sci/Tech stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sci/Tech stories