Skip to main content

Connected-car pioneer LoJack will shut down on March 15

LoJack, a pioneer in the field of connected cars, will wind down its American sales operations in 2021. It will stop taking purchase orders in March, but it pledged to continue supporting stolen vehicle services indefinitely.

Founded in 1986, in an era when cars and computers were still largely mutually exclusive, LoJack rose to prominence by offering motorists a stolen vehicle recovery system that law enforcement officials could directly access. This was revolutionary in the 1980s, because even new luxury cars were relatively simple to steal with basic tools. LoJack’s technology was extremely innovative: GPS wasn’t commercially available yet, so its recovery system relied on a small radio transceiver that emits a signal every 15 seconds on a frequency set aside specifically for it.

Related Videos

If your, say, 1990 Ford Thunderbird got stolen, police officers could find it (hopefully in one piece) by tracking its LoJack device. The transceiver helped police officers recover thousands of cars. Commercial GPS systems became increasingly common in the 1990s, however, and trackers encroached on LoJack’s turf. Then, technology like General Motors-developed OnStar gave motorists an alternative to the system that was already built into their car.

LoJack fired back by expanding its roster of features to include boundary alerts and crash detecting, and by branching out into different segments. It notably released a system that tracked stolen laptops. But, much like Nokia, it missed a turn and fell behind. California-based CalAmp purchased the company in 2016 in a bid to turn it around, but the competition (from direct rivals, from start-ups like the freshly launched RecovR, and from carmakers) was already far ahead.

CalAmp explained in a statement that it will continue to support dealership orders for Classic SVR, Connect, and Connect+ products until June 18, 2021, though it’s asking customers to submit all final purchase orders no later than March 15. Suddenly pulling the plug on the project would have a negative effect on the law enforcement officials who use its products, so it will continue to honor its service commitments with police departments indefinitely.

Surprisingly, the announcement only applies to LoJack’s American division. Its international business will continue to operate in locations like Mexico, Italy, and England, among other countries. CalAmp pointed out that its international business operates with a subscription-based business model that’s well-aligned with its strategy.

Editors' Recommendations

LG confirms it is closing down its mobile phone business
LG Wing

LG has confirmed it is exiting the global mobile phone business.

The Korean company announced the news on Monday, April 5, local time, saying that leaving the "incredibly competitive" mobile phone sector will enable it to focus on growth areas "such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence, and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services."

Read more
The best mileage apps for small businesses in 2022

If any part of running your small business requires driving, a good mileage tracker app is a must. Mileage trackers not only track miles, but they also log them into a tax-friendly format that you can use to augment your return. Some features are automatic, and using automated services in these apps will save you time and effort as you gather accurate expense and time report data, even if they do cost a little to use.

Mileage tracking apps use GPS to track your car's motion from one location to another, and they often start recording distance when the wheels start moving and stop if you are in one place for a certain amount of time. Don't expect 100% accuracy, though -- it's a good idea to simultaneously keep track of mileage yourself with your own odometer, just to make sure.

Read more
The best vehicle anti-theft devices
anti-theft devices

Stealing a car is no longer as simple as learning how to hot-wire an ignition, but technology isn't driving the number of car thefts down. Thieves are simply learning new ways to drive off in your ride. If you routinely park in an unsafe area, or if you regularly leave valuable belongings in the cabin, we suggest investing in an anti-theft device. They're not always cheap, but the peace of mind they bring is priceless. Here are the best anti-theft devices for 2020.
Steering wheel lock

Steering wheel locks are one of the oldest and best-known theft prevention devices on the market today. A steering wheel lock attaches to the steering wheel of the car to lock it in place, preventing someone from driving away. There are two main styles for this lock. The first goes across the steering wheel horizontally and attaches to the wheel at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. On one side the lock extends farther, preventing the wheel from turning very far. The second style attaches to the top of the wheel with the end extending over the front dash to prevent the wheel from turning. The Club is one of the most popular models.

Read more