At the University of Central Florida, a junior electrical engineering major has invented something that would alert a car owner when their wheels have been tampered with or in the worst case scenario, stolen. According to Central Flordia Future, there were five instances of vehicle tire theft or tire tampering since 2015.
Matt White, the engineer behind the device, said: "I noticed in the beginning, ending and kind of in the middle of every semester some wheels would go missing here on campus from cars. I thought to myself 'What solution, what would be useful for students, for young professionals, for people that park outside with nice wheels or even stock wheel and brand new tires?"
The idea is a tracking device that utilizes Google Maps to track down the stolen wheels' location in real time. He coded an app that would show a user when the tires were stolen and how far away they are from their immediate location. White also wants to try and get the police involved so that the app can send out an alert to the policeman to alert them that tire theft is occurring.
"Having something such as a tire pressure monitor-looking device...securely strapped into the wheel and actually be able to tell and track where the wheel is up to a certain number of hours, of course, because of battery life. It could be one day or five days depending on how often the coordinates are pulled."
He has given the device a name: TrakSURE.
What White doesn't realize is how big tire theft is around the world, especially in countries like South Africa. His invention could revolutionize tire theft statistics if he took it international.
The UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science tries to assist its innovators at bringing products to the market and will try and get White's product into the market.
White's mentor, Oscar Rodriguez, said: "...there seems to be a real need in the marketplace, and yet, what I find interesting, is that after doing a lot of searching, there doesn't seem to be a solution that's already out there. So it's kind of ripe. The demand is there."