Honda replaces annoying car alarms with TERII

New anti-theft negotiator uses psychoanalysis to deter car theft

4/1/2012 3:00:00 AM

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today ushered in a new era of car alarm technology with the release of TERII, the anti-theft negotiator, soon to be available on all Honda vehicles.

"Car alarms have become less and less effective as a deterrent," said Sidney Finch, TERII Project Lead at Honda. "The technological advancements of late have been focused on the quick recovery of a stolen vehicle. Our goal was to prevent the theft in the first place. And we have that in TERII," she said.

TERII allows keyless entry to your Honda vehicle, much like conventional smart keys. But that's where the comparison ends. Rather than keys, fingerprint scanners on the door handle identify the driver, or conversely, an intruder. TERII can transmit the thief's prints and receive personal information through the IAFIS fingerprint database.

Once a theft attempt is determined, TERII initiates the first of five levels of negotiation to prevent unwanted ingress. TERII first attempts to reason with the thief, then escalates in tone and tactics as appropriate. TERII is empathically programmed, and is able to assess the threat level and adjust accordingly.

"This technology has proven to be incredibly effective," said Finch.

Working with a team of former FBI hostage negotiators and cognitive psychologists, Honda engineers took 10 years to optimize TERII technology. Currently, TERII includes over 500 pre-programmed strategies.

Sensors are placed throughout the vehicle for TERII to locate the assailant and TERII's "voice" is played through exterior speakers located just above the wheel wells. This allows TERII to communicate with a potential thief, and attempt to reason with him or her.

The artificial intelligence TERII technology is currently being tested on several Honda models, with the hopes that this feature will be added in a rolling release to all 2013 vehicles.

"Each year, Honda leads the list of most stolen vehicles, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau," said Finch. "Why? Because thieves are attracted to our brand for the same reasons consumers are—quality, dependability, reliability. But thieves will no longer stand a chance because TERII is here to stop them. Now, they will have to buy a Honda like everyone else."

To see a video of TERII in action, click here.