VAB Roadside Assistance – facilitating mobility, securely

As the largest Belgian mobility organization, VAB offers roadside assistance with a multitude of services throughout Belgium and Luxembourg that all work together to facilitate mobility and keep people on the road.

In this process, VAB needs to be able to provide access to service points and car parks for both in-house patrolmen and towing subcontractors. In the past, with a conventional mechanical safety lock system, VAB experienced some thefts due to improper use of the safety keys.

In order to provide access for authorized people to the right places at the right time and thus ensure that cars are safely parked, VAB investigated a more secure access management solution. The challenge was that more than 50% of their premises had neither a power supply nor internet access. It also quickly became clear that battery-powered locks would not be an acceptable solution, due to the fact of regularly having to replace the batteries in the multitude of locks in geographically very dispersed locations.

Purchasing and Facility Manager for VAB nv, Robby Craenen, discovered that iLOQ’s mobile access solution needed no batteries nor internet access at the premises. The power needed to open the locks comes from the NFC field created by a smartphone eliminating the need for batteries completely.

With iLOQ’s solution, access rights are sent remotely and in real time to iLOQ’s app running on a smartphone, thus avoiding the need for physical keys. Access rights can be granted on an individual basis for in-house patrolmen and the employees of external towing companies. These access rights can be centrally updated as needs change or cancelled immediately using iLOQ’s cloud-based software platform.

The access management solution also makes it possible to check which keys have been used and when to open the locks. This provides the necessary proof if a user is suspected of misusing their access rights and helps to prevent it.

It was also important for VAB that the solution worked with both Android and iOS smartphones, as it would have been difficult to impose on subcontractors the type of device they had to use.

“To date, we have programmed 283 cylinders (including padlocks), 808 mobile keys and 168 fob keys. Since the introduction of iLOQ’s solution, we have no longer experienced any theft from a service point or car park. The ability to issue different access rights to our patrolmen, towing subcontractors, maintenance technicians and cleaning staff, provides major added value. It is an absolute comfort, and also more ecological, to be able to grant access in a few clicks rather than having to hand over a physical key to a user, external or otherwise, and having to chase them to return it when requested,” states Robby Craenen.