The other day there was a blog posting regarding a requirement in a budget bill that all new cars manufactured after some date have “remote engine immobilisers.” Most new cars already have engine immobilisers. The idea being that even if you put the key in the ignition and turn it, nothing will happen.
It requires that your key talk to the car and tell it that you are indeed authorized to use the car. It means that you can give somebody a “regular” key and they can use it to physically unlock your car but even if that key were to fit they can’t start the car.
This stops thieves from just forcing the lock or otherwise bypassing the ignition switch. There are stories of older car locks being bypassed by the thief jamming a big screwdriver into the keyhole and then forcing the cylinder to rotate. Just shearing all the pins that keep that cylinder from rotating.
Remote engine immobilization takes this to a new level. With this you can turn off the engine remotely. A kill switch.
Some OnStar vehicles have this. The police can call OnStar and have them disable a stolen vehicle at will. A very powerful way of catching car thieves. There are aftermarket versions of this as well.
Unfortunately it comes with a bit of extra. Who is authorized to kill your car? Will all police cars come with devices so they can kill the engine of any car they want? Will it become standard operating procedure for a cop to kill the engine of any car he stops?
Will Mayor Pete be able to kill any car that is drives to much in a given period of time?
Will M.A.D.D. get a law passed that immobilises your engine anytime you stop at a place that serves alcohol? And then you are required to blow to get your car to start again?
Will your voter registration be linked to your car. If there is “right wing extremest” in the area do all cars belonging to the wrong sorts of people get disabled?
In the Dresden Files novels, the main character drives a VW Bug. He drives it because as a wizard the more technically advanced something is, they more likely it is to break when he is near. The Bug has no electronics. It is dirt simple.
There might be a new call for “dumb” cars.