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A new technology could enhance military intelligence and operational capabilities and reduce the costs and risk footprint of ISR assets. Thanks to vehicle telematics, the technology can remotely geolocate vehicles in nearly every county in the world in near real time.
Vehicle telematics is data transmitted from the vehicle to the automaker or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) through embedded communications systems in the car.
Ulysses Group can access over 15 billion vehicle locations around the world every month, according to a company document.
The development highlights the scale and reach of car-tracking technology, and the fact that car location data is of interest not just to insurance companies and the finance sector, but to government contractors who explicitly say they want to source the data for intelligence and surveillance purposes, according to vice.com.
Sensors included in vehicle parts by automakers and OEMs collect information such as their airbag and seatbelt status, engine temperature, and current location, and then transmit that information either back to the automaker or to third parties. Aggregator companies also purchase or obtain this data, repackage it, and then sell that data or products based on it to their own clients.
The document specifically suggests that this technology could be used for military operations: “We believe that this one attribute will dramatically enhance military intelligence and operational capabilities, as well as reduce the costs and risk footprint of ISR [intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance] assets currently used to search for and acquire mobile targets of interest,” the document adds.