Bluetooth proximity anti-carjacking device - your opinion is appreciated

I find myself in need of a device which apparently does not exist, so I have have undertaken to build it myself.

After just having my motorcycle robbed at gunpoint I realized the need for a device that will shut my vehicle down if we become separated. My idea is to use an Arduino with the HC – 05 Bluetooth board. The idea is that I will carry a phone which has been paired to the HC – 05. The Arduino will periodically check the condition of the HC – 05, and see that it is in the paired state. If the device is still paired (I and my telephone are still nearby) it will maintain a relay closed which will allow the engine to run. If the HC – 05 becomes unpaired (I and my telephone are no longer near the vehicle), the relay will open and the engine will stop. Yes, I realize this is based on the assumption that they also don't steal my telephone when they steal my motorcycle. They usually just grab the bike and go.

I have looked into the specifications of the HC – 05, and it looks like the way to go for the main loop of the program is to keep checking the connection status of the HC – 05 Bluetooth connection via an AT command which reports back the connection status.

This is my first time using Arduino, so I have no experience with it or the HC – 05.

I would greatly appreciate any input or ideas anyone has, especially anyone with working experience with something similar involving HC – 05.

Thank you very much in advance.

It is a good idea, but you have to consider a few factors there:

  • what if your phone runs out of battery while you're riding your bike? Will your Arduino device simply kill the bike?

  • what if your cellphone is stolen and you need to get back to your bike?

  • a cellphone is a common target for robbers and pickpockets. It is common for car/bike thieves to also take your smartphone when stealing your vehicle.

A more feasible, simpler and cheaper approach would be to use RFID. You'd keep a transponder on you all the time, and the Arduino would simply look for your transpoder ID constantly. I don't think any robber would care about a keychain or a RFID card (there are many shapes to the transpoders), so chances are you'll get to keep them even if your wallet, cellphone and bikes have been stolen at once.

There are many forms of RFID, and their distance may vary from a couple inches to several feet.

Besides, a RFID transpoder doesn't run out of batteries, and even the active ones run on a single CR1616 for years.

BTW, this is exactly what the Harley Davidson "Smart Security System" is: a key fob using RFID:

http://www.harley-davidson.com/shop/motorcycle-alarm-systems

AlxDroidDev: It is a good idea, but you have to consider a few factors there:

  • what if your phone runs out of battery while you're riding your bike? Will your Arduino device simply kill the bike?

  • what if your cellphone is stolen and you need to get back to your bike?

  • a cellphone is a common target for robbers and pickpockets. It is common for car/bike thieves to also take your smartphone when stealing your vehicle.

A more feasible, simpler and cheaper approach would be to use RFID. You'd keep a transponder on you all the time, and the Arduino would simply look for your transpoder ID constantly. I don't think any robber would care about a keychain or a RFID card (there are many shapes to the transpoders), so chances are you'll get to keep them even if your wallet, cellphone and bikes have been stolen at once.

There are many forms of RFID, and their distance may vary from a couple inches to several feet.

Besides, a RFID transpoder doesn't run out of batteries, and even the active ones run on a single CR1616 for years.

Thanks for taking the time to write!

I investigated RFID first, and what I found was that they inexpensive RFID tags and readers only operate over a distance of a few inches. Even if I had the tag in my back pocket and the sensor under the seat it probably wouldn't work. The long distance RFID devices are expensive. Also most RFID devices seem to just swipe to do something, not continuously detect the tag's presence. Do you know of a suitable RFID tag/reader combo that has a several foot range and isn't prohibitively expensive?

You're right I could lose the phone but if I still had the bike I could bypass my system. Also I might get a cheap phone just for this purpose, a tiny one that wouldn't draw attention.

I'm also thinking of incorporating a wireless shutoff (keyfob and controller on the bike) which was inexpensive, incase they get the phone and the bike.

Thanks!

AlxDroidDev:
BTW, this is exactly what the Harley Davidson “Smart Security System” is: a key fob using RFID:

http://www.harley-davidson.com/shop/motorcycle-alarm-systems

Thanks!

According to a Harley forum, the unit has to be programmed with a Harley dealer’s program and computer.

Also once the fob deactivates the alarm, if someone carjacks you, even if you still have the fob (bike and fob separate) it doesn’t kill the engine. That’s the problem with the off the shelf solutions I’ve looked at, they don’t do what I need.

The alarm you mention does have an interesting knock-code override incase you lose the keychain fob. That’s something that I might incorporate into my system.

Thanks!

Greg