Armored Vehicle Onboard Video Observation Surveillance 

Armored Vehicle Transport & VIP Transport Surveillance

The risks associated with Armor Car/Truck & VIP/Executive vehicles, are much greater that those of other transportation markets, as this particular market has external forces determined to inflict  losses upon the carrier or service company. The threats and potential losses to the service provider from external aggressive forces determined to risk life and limb to hijack valuable assets in the case of Armor Car/Truck shipments, for kidnapping  & ransom of VIPs or family members to killing those they do not agree with politically, religiously or for sheer acts of terrorism.

The perpetrators, who pose these threats to the transported VIP or valuable cargo, can range from;  criminal to sociopathic zealots with no concern for laws or the lives of those targeted.

Project Objective:

Some of the challenges and concerns related to Armored Cars, Armored Trucks, Executive VIP vehicles, and what can be achieved by integration of an “Active Mobile Video” system in these specialized applications that can be of value to the manufacturer or dealer of the vehicle from a selling point, as well as greatly benefit the customer or user of the vehicle by enhancing the evidence documentation as well as active technologies supported by the cellular gateway for improved oversight and risk management.

Armored Cars, Armored Trucks and Executive VIP vehicles are not just for:

  • Foreign Politicians
  • Foreign Religious leaders
  • Foreign Heads of State 
  • Foreign Royalty
  • Foreign US Business Leaders

There are very good reasons why so many are now purchasing professionally manufactured or modified Executive VIP or Armored Cars in the USA.

  • The US Economy is in worse shape in recorded history, so the motivation for theft of valuable cargo or hostage for ransom is now much higher.
  • US home mortgage defaults is at an all time high, unemployment soaring, so now many are desperate and have little to lose from a criminal venture.
  • There have been 4,000,000 violent crimes within the USA in the last 5 years
  • The best estimates are approximately 40,000+ kidnappings each year in the USA.
  • Much more than half of those kidnappings end in ransom payments.
  • Ransom payments can range from $100,000 to well over $2,000,000
  • VIPs and valuable assets that were in the past in risk, to the degree they required armored vehicle transport, are now exposed to much higher risk due to these desperate times.

The Armored Vehicle Transport Project primarily targeted 2 areas of concern:

  • Risk Management 
  • Evidence Documentation

Risk Management & Live View Vehicle Surveillance

Transport Record

In the normal process of transport operations an accurate, automatic, unbiased and sequential record of what occurs within the vehicle, should be maintained. When problems arise or when questions of process, procedure, assertion of fault or liability litigation are brought up it is invaluable to be able to provide a complete, sequential and unbiased Transport Record to support and document the professional level of protection afforded by these vehicles, as well as the actions taken to insure their protection.

The cargo being transported are extremely valued assets, so it is reasonable to surmise that when great expense has been taken to assure their safe transport, it is expected by all involved, that this process will be professional and limit the risk to loss. Human nature can often play havoc with the best plans.

Back in the early 1990s, I was contacted by one of the largest Armored Car services in GA to demo some of our Fleet Management devices on their transport vehicles. The Armored Trucks were manned by a crew of 3 armed officers to protect their cargo of thousands of pounds of coins they would pickup from several coin collection services and transport them to their facility, for counting, sorting, and transport to banks. From what I was told, there were only 2 primary operational requirements affecting the transport process:

1-The driver was always to be behind the wheel so the vehicle could immediately be driven away in case of assault,  
2-The vehicle was never to be turned off, so there is not the possibility that a hard to start vehicle, or dead battery would prevent a rapid escape in case of assault.

Our first 30 day test results showed the vehicle was driven to a location each morning a few miles from the main facility, turned off, all doors were activated, and then the vehicle was stationary with the engine off for 15 minutes. Then later in the afternoon they repeated the process. Supervisors we provided this information were in disbelief, as this was a direct violation of their primary requirements, and after they followed the vehicle in a unmarked car, it was learned that each morning the crew of 3 visited a fast food location, tuned the vehicle off and all went inside for breakfast, including the driver. Later in the day when the Armored Truck had a cargo of thousands of pounds of coins they repeated the process for their dinner. The risk exposure of the vehicle in the off, unmanned condition was staggering and this sent a shock wave up the chain of management. This information opened their eyes to a mountain of risk and direct liability they had no idea they were exposed to. No matter how perfectly conceived and implemented a transportation process may be, there is always the variable that some Neolithic incompetent will step in and ignore your perfect process and think nothing of directly exposing your company or cargo to a mountain of risk that you believed was already addressed.  This is where Active Mobile Video can provide an active and verifiable solution to reduce your risk and provide the level of control and oversight required to avert such risk.

Incident / Event automated Alerts
In the past those located at their company office, or at the police station have played a passive role in interactions with the armored vehicles in the field, as they must rely on those within the vehicles themselves to provide them information to react to.  Some may have tracking systems but in general there is only notification long after any opportunity to save the lives of those involved or protect valuable cargo has passed.
This is an area where major improvements can be made. Automated and immediate alerts to CMS Operator can help insure that assistance can be offered to those who might be able to send help directly or at least call for backup is available.
Direct CMS Operator / Supervisor Oversight
It is a physical reality that those most valued for their experience and knowledge of process and procedure cannot be in more than one place at a time. However if those with the most experience could be provided with real time video from the vehicle under assault, it is reasonable to surmise they could best recommend what level of response is appropriate as well as notify those who will be responding as to the number of perpetrators and possibly what they re armed with, to prepare responders before they arrive so they can be aware to a degree of what level threat they will be facing upon arrival.

Under Siege
In many cases assaults or terrorist acts against an armored car or executive transport vehicle are quick, without warning and over in a brief period of time. This creates a problem for those charged with the safety of the transported VIPs or valued cargo, the swiftness and confusion combined with the adrenalin of the moment make it very difficult to get a clear and accurate account of the events that actually occurred during an assault that may have only taken a few seconds. While most assaults will be over quickly, in several high value assaults the period of the assault was extremely long and due to lack of communication ability by those inside the vehicle who were unable to respond there was no signal for help made in time to save the lives of the occupants. Due to the high caliber of protection offered by the leading Armored Car/VIP Executive vehicles, it is likely that those who were attacked in their vehicle will survive the immediate assault, as long as there is a reliable mechanism to immediately make others aware they are under assault and the ability to summon assistance is made in the first few seconds of the assault before communication can be defeated.

Evidence Documentation
The value of having “Expert Witness” in the form of an high tech “Active Mobile Video” system, that can provide unbiased, accurate, sequential video immediately transmitted via 3G to a CMS Operator could be instrumental to immediately summon assistance as well as start creating a evidence file before the incident is even over.

Imagine you are driving down the road in your armored Mercedes VIP car, when a missile stops your vehicle. From out of the smoke you see your vehicle quickly under siege by 10+ men with automatic weapons shooting your car and tossing grenades at what is now left of it, after the missile explosion. Imagine you actually survive this assault!
How difficult it would be to give an accurate detailed description that might actually assist the authorities in rounding up those responsible before they repeat the performance when you are not in your armored vehicle?
This actually happened in 1998 to Georgian President Eduard Shervardnadze, and yes he survived.

After The Assault
The problem often hindering law enforcement or military after the assault, and the endless yet vital questions they will ask of those who survived the assault to try to track down those responsible and stop them before they try again. This is extremely important as once an assault against an Armored Car, Armored Cargo Transport or VIP Executive vehicle is defeated by the high quality and resilience of the vehicle, it is imperative to determine exactly what happened in order to track down the perpetrators. Once a well-designed Armored Vehicle thwarts a determined foe, it is likely they will make another attempt when the targets are not inside the vehicle.

In a swift surprise assault, where you are literally faced with your imminent death, that may only last a few seconds, could you provide the following information in a clear, rational and accurate manor?

  • How many assailants were involved?
  • Their physical descriptions?
  • Their clothing worn?
  • Any tattoos, scars or other identifying traits?
  • What language were they speaking?
  • Their vehicle descriptions?
  • Their vehicle license plates?
  • Their weapons employed?
  • Their tactics as employed against the armored vehicle?
  • Anything that may have said to the vehicle occupants?
  • Any verbal instructions shouted to each other?
  • What direction did they go when they left?
  • Were there any witnesses who also saw the incident?
This is where the value of foresight can save you future assaults and engagements if the evidence recorded by the mobile video system can be used efficiently by the authorities or Armed Forces to bring those who were responsible to justice, before they have the opportunity to try again.

Civilian Trials For Terrorist
Due to past administration determination to extend civil rights to those perpetrating terrorist acts against the USA or against US citizens or companies, it is essential that the level of evidence gathered from an incident be sufficient to provide prosecutors with a solid case against the perpetrators, as in a criminal case the requirement for evidence that will lead to a conviction are much more difficult to secure.  Many of the recently captured terrorists held by US Authorities were released due to the higher requirements for evidence if they are tied in US criminal cases.

Rules of Engagement
While the US Armed Forces and her allies perform their service with exemplary precision, restraint and compassion, they are often not able to take action when they are clearly under threat of hostile fire due to their ROE or Rules of Engagement. In many cases ROE require that they be taking live fire from enemies before they are able to return fire. Those specialty civilian protection services who operate in foreign nations under multi million dollar contracts are also in need of the same documentation.

A few years back, I was contacted by the State Department, who enlisted the services of a private contractor for protection services for their staff in those countries. A private contractor in the Middle East had an armored convoy incident, where their personnel were implicated in a mass civilian shooting incident. The US State Department was looking for ways to document what might happen in future incidents so that when contractors or military armed convoys were involved in return fire incidents that they had verifiable proof they were fired upon prior to any return fire. It is not enough to be surrounded by armed potential threats in some cases, now it must be proven that you were actually fired upon in order to completely justify return fire, which is why in the future I can clearly see the integration of mobile video systems in all military vehicles as well as most civilian armored vehicles and VIP Executive vehicles, not just to protect the lives of those within the vehicle but to insure the establishment of an expert witness for potential court litigation and corporate liability protection. At the time, the system technologies were insufficient to achieve their needs for cellular transmission of all events directly to a central CMS Operator. 

“Active Mobile Video” Concept to Reality
Due to the importance of Risk Management and Evidence Documentation for the Armed Vehicle Transport markets, a mobile video solution which could offer measurable reductions in risk and enhanced oversight for Armored Vehicle Transportation as both applications had similar needs.

“Active Mobile Video” Armored Transport  & VIP Project Goals  

  • Provide complete oversight of entire transport process to management.
  • Provide client ability to login and monitor their VIP or cargo from their own PCs
  • Provide an extra level of driver awareness an oversight of accountability.
  • Provide GPS live tracking of all vehicles in fleet
  • Provide Geo-Fencing with live border violation alerts
  • Provide active visual support to driver or crew of Armored Vehicle Transportation (AVT) 
  • Provide CMS operator ability to immediate request medical or backup when the situation warrants it w/o Armored Vehicle Transportation (AVT) driver contact.
  • To eliminate the possibility that a AVT driver or passenger survives a life threatening encounter, then dies as a result of their injuries, because they cannot call for assistance themselves.
  • To provide CMS operator the ability to request medical assistance for passengers of an AVT when they may be incapacitated.
  • To provide immediate supervisor determination of actual visual events at a higher level 

It is our belief that implementation of the Live View Mobile Video on Armored Vehicle Transportation (AVT) could substantially and immediately enhance Driver / Passenger Safety, and lower risk of loss to valuable cargo, by exploring some of the new 3G technology mechanisms now offered by Live View Mobile Video system known as the SD4C. With the cost of Armored Vehicles from $135,000 and up, it would be a wise investment to receive the control, oversight and piece of mind offered by this new technology based system that costs less than the paint job on some vehicles.  With the superior oversight provided by this system the CMS Operator or supervisor can immediately ascertain if the vehicle is out of area and in cases of stolen vehicle, or drivers taken hostage they will then be able to immediately alert law enforcement while there is still time to save the lives of any hostages. Whether your application is: Armored Car Camera, Executive Vehicle Camera, Armored Vehicle Surveillance Camera System in the passive modes, or the Live View Armored Vehicle Camera System / Live View Executive Vehicle Camera System, either will offer Real Time Armored Car surveillance or Real Time Executive Vehicle surveillance the SD4HC provides a added level of management oversight in real time with active alerts and live video oversight to PC or Smart phone.

SD4HC  Vehicle  Camera System Pricing:

SD4HC-1...1-Camera Armored Vehicle High Risk High Value Transport Video Camera Surveillance$1,100 - $1,200
SD4HC-2…2-Camera Armored Vehicle High Risk High Value Transport Video Camera Surveillance$1,200 - $1,300
SD4HC-3…3-Camera VIP Executive Protection High Value Armored Vehicle Transport Celllular Streaming $1,300 - $1,400
SD4HC-4…4-Camera VIP Executive Protection High Value Armored Vehicle Transport Celllular Streaming $1,400 - $1,500
Testudo Lifetime System Warranty optional
Reseller Pricing Available