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Industry: Government

This adaptable and tailored platform was successfully implemented as a community-wide theft deterrent for bicycle theft.

- BikeTrace Anti-theft Solution

ArcoInfo Solutions


The police force of the city of Mechelen/Willebroek (Belgium) asked our help in organizing an anti-theft solution for bicycles.

ArcoInfo Solution

Phase 1- Document Digitization: Arco in Belgium has a long history of providing document management for various paperwork required in police work (tickets, reports, etc.)  The DOCflow solution digitizes all these documents and stores them for retrieval and archiving as necessary.

Phase 2 IoT Based Solution: The head of the Mechelen/Willebroek police zone requested the configuration of an IoT based solution for reducing bike theft in the cities.

Phase 3- Custom DATFlow Platform: Arco developed a custom-based solution for bike theft through its ArcoBIKEtrace platform.

How It Works: The BIKEtrace solution works with transmitters installed in and on citizen’s and city-owned bicycles.

Receivers, installed in key positions around the city, detect the transmitters when they are in within a range of 30m to 100m (depending on the conditions).  Only when the “smart” bicycle passes by one of the strategically placed receivers is it spotted by the system. This anonymous tracking is opted-into by the bike owner at the time of the transmitter’s installation. The receiver sees that an enabled bicycle is within range of a receiver, but no personal data is collected on that bicycle or the owner. Strategically, the receivers are installed near city-owned CCTV cameras that are recording the city, and as such, via time-stamping, the police can be given a video capture of the camera recording that is within the timestamp of when the receiver “saw’ the now stolen bike. And this is all configurable and automated via the DATflow platform

When a bicycle equipped with a transmitter is reported and logged as stolen into the BIKEtrace DATflow platform by the relevant authorities, the platform automatically provides:

  1. Real-Time Tracking: The receivers start monitoring this “activated” transmitter actively, and when spotted the DATflow platform sends a message to to the relevant authorities.  This could be a police car that is in the area of the latest stolen transmitter spotting.
  2. Historical Tracking: The DATflow platform, which can now ID the transmitter and owner, starts looking for that unique transmitter ID for where it was tracked in the receiver network in the past.  The log files for the unique transmitter are kept for a period of time per the use case requirements. .

Phase 4- Ongoing Support: Shortly after initial deployment, newer and stronger transmitters with extended battery life came out but with a different communication protocol for the receivers.  The DATflow platform was re-configured and continues to be upgraded as per regular assessments. The next upgrade will allow for identification of the bike to within 10 feet by mobile receivers.

The result of this platform was a stark reduction and deterrent in bike theft in subject cities and more effective data management.