Smart home security is coming to vehicles – Stacey on IoT

Earlier this week, Ford and ADT announced a joint venture called Canopy which promises “breakthrough technology” for vehicle safety. It may be a breakthrough for cars and trucks, but if you have a smart home, you probably already have or know about the technology. That’s because this effort brings smart home security to your Ford vehicle. Either way, it’s a big deal. canopy is backed by $100 million between the two companies, which is no small change.

So what is Canopy and what will it offer? Essentially, Ford will first offer self-installed smart cameras in 2023 to monitor the cargo area of ​​your pickups and vans. Eventually, Canopy cameras will be available as integrated components in Ford vehicles. These will monitor larger areas from inside as well as outside of the car or truck. All cameras will have multiple sensors and will route their information both to your smartphone, through the Canopy app, and to ADT agents.

The idea here is to protect both the valuables in your car or truck, as well as the vehicle itself. If this sounds familiar, it should be. It’s the same security model we have today in smart homes with various cameras and systems, both self-monitored and professionally monitored.

You will be able to get a live view of inside your car and what is happening around it. You will receive alerts whenever a window is broken or an entry attempt is made. A two-way microphone and speaker let you warn people to stay away from your car. And if the cameras see anything that could lead to a break-in, ADT officers will be alerted so they can take preventative action such as contacting local authorities. Canopy’s cameras are advertised as having AI to determine the difference between benign action and something that looks suspicious.

Like I said: it’s not exactly “breakthrough technology” given that it’s really an effort to take existing smart home technology and move it inside vehicles. And it’s not the first of its kind either. Tesla Owners Have Long Used Sentinel Mode, which is basically the same thing. The main difference here is that Tesla already has cameras and sensors in its cars for driver safety purposes and is repurposing them for safety.

So why isn’t Ford just doing what Tesla is doing, given that it’s been adding similar cameras and sensors for driver safety over the past few years?

That’s where the smart home service model comes in, courtesy of the Safe by ADT service. Ford’s core competency is building vehicles. By partnering with a company like ADT that has a proven track record of customer engagement, Ford can continue to focus on what it knows best. It’s more efficient to spend $100 million or less to offload the security aspects to a partner company so they can invest billions in the overall product.

Fun fact: GM took the same approach, at least from a customer service standpoint, with its GM OnStar program launched in 1996. This is the service that detects accidents so an OnStar representative knows to call you and offer you help. Except it wasn’t GM employees calling you, even though you thought they were. OnStar agents were actually outsourced to the former Ross Perot company, Electronic Data Services (EDS). I know this because I was working for EDS at the time in a call center. I represented customer service for dozens of banks but nearby were OnStar agents.

Of course, the Canopy business will be a subscription service and that should come as no surprise to smart home owners either. The whole IoT industry is not just about fancy new hardware, but also services that can generate recurring revenue after the device is sold.

Canopy pricing hasn’t been released yet, so I’m not sure what it will cost. Tesla charges $10 per month for its premium services, which include Sentry, so that might be a reasonable starting point for Canopy. I also assume this is the first of many such partnerships between automakers and smart home companies, as the use cases for the technology extend beyond our homes. I totally agree, but you couldn’t pay me enough to put one of those “Protected by [COMPANY]” stickers on my car.

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