Vehicle theft is a big problem in India. The menace of car lifters is more in larger metro cities rather than smaller towns. Although various safety and anti-theft systems are available in the market, these car lifters always find a way around them. However, now things will certainly become very tough for car lifters as the government has approved the use of MicroDot technology on vehicles. MicroDot technology refers to a process in which thousands of small dots laser etched with a unique number and vehicle identification number (VIN) will be sprayed throughout the vehicle body, including the engine. This will make it quite tough for car thieves to make a vehicle untraceable by dismantling it.
Talks of implementing this new standard have been going on since some time but now the technology has been passed for usage. For the auto industry to use this technology, the government consulted several experts to finalise and introduce it. According to reports, the norms will be finalised by CMVR-TSC in the next one or two months. To let you know, the CMVR-TSC is the government’s highest automobile technical standard making body. Also, the ministry has urged the experts to involve Delhi Police officials while framing the standards and implementation rules.
When sprayed on a car, the MicroDots technology makes it almost impossible to remove the dots. Therefore, the car can be identified at any time and at any stage by just reading the dots. The dots are not visible to the naked eye under normal lighting. They can be detected under ultraviolet light. However, in countries where this technology is used, the Microdotted vehicles are logged onto a database and this information is used to track the rightful owner. Microdots are virtually impossible to remove which makes them one of the best vehicle security measures around.
Speaking upon the MicroDot technology, an official said.
“Now the standard will be notified so that manufacturers can start making or importing them complying to our norms. To begin with, it will be an optional feature”
As for the increase in the cost of the cars, reports suggest that the cost for this feature could be less than Rs 1,000 once the numbers increase substantially. Mass usage of this technology will take some time though as initially, it will be provided as an optional feature. Once the technology starts rolling, the costs will come down gradually.
Talking about Microdots, they are nano-size (0.5 mm) metal particles that vital carry information including the Personal Identification Number (PIN) and/or the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) so that these can be traced. Countries like South Africa have already made it a legal requirement for all new vehicles sold since September 2012 to be fitted with this technology in order to get the mandatory police clearance.
In India, the Microdot manufacturers will have to use at least 10 alpha-numeric characters. The adhesive and the coating material to be used will be such that the details etched would remain in a readable condition for at least 15 years after fitment, which is much more than the average ownership of a vehicle in India.
The government is further planning to mandate it as a norm once the technology stabilizes and there is greater demand. The transport ministry will host the new standard on its website to get feedback from auto manufacturers and consumers before notifying the new norm.