IBM and Mercedes announced the successful development of “Urban Guard – Stolen Vehicle Help,” a recently launched service in the Mercedes me app designed to help find and recover stolen vehicles. The solution builds on prior collaboration between IBM and Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, to develop connected car services such as “ready to.”
According to National Insurance Crime Bureau, a U.S. industry membership organization, car thefts saw a 9.2 percent increase in 2020. Digital, connected car services can offer a solution to help address this risk and enhance the potential for law enforcement to recover lost or stolen vehicles.
Built into the Mercedes me App, the “Urban Guard – Stolen Vehicle Help” service is designed to help customers and law enforcement track and recover stolen vehicles. Given the importance of speed in the event of a theft, the “Stolen Vehicle Help” service collects relevant vehicle and customer data that can help law enforcement identify and recover a vehicle. This data, along with the vehicle position data is then shared with law enforcement via a service partner which is authorized to communicate with world-wide police stations.
In close collaboration, IBM Global Business Services and Mercedes together analysed and defined the end-to-end process: From the front-end customer experience in the event of a theft, to the process of securely sharing the live data and the backend processing. IBM Global Business Services developed the back-end using cloud-native open-source technologies, such as the Red Hat build of Quarkus, to achieve high-speed performance. As implementation partner, IBM Global Business Services delivers the technical interaction between the various involved parties and existing systems, such as customer data APIs and call center tools.
“Increasingly, consumers expect and value digital, connected services equally to the drive performance of the vehicle, meaning connected car experiences are as important as horsepower or handling,” said Juergen Braun, vice president and industry leader Industrial, Automotive IBM DACH. “Developing connected car services that help safeguard the owner’s investment is a meaningful way for Mercedes to deepen its relationship with its customers, as well as differentiate itself.”
The “Urban Guard – Stolen Vehicle Help” service was initially made available to European customers in November 2020. Following effective recovery efforts, the service is now available to eligible customers in select countries in North America and Asia Pacific.