Ford Motor Co. and ADT security are taking action to make criminals think twice about trying to steal your vehicle or anything in it.

The companies — through a new joint venture called Canopy — are bringing new vehicle security packages to market. This devices, which might be compared to the doorbell camera that's become so popular, will use ADT monitoring with live agents. Customers will be able to control the system, monitor video via livestream and get threat alerts through a smartphone app.

The antitheft technology will begin going to market as an accessory sold through Ford,, big box stores and other retailers early next year. It will detect threats using artificial intelligence that alerts vehicle owners with the capability of alerting police.

This monitoring technology will not be limited to just Ford products, the company said, although it will be launched initially with the F-Series trucks.

In the works for two years, Ford began Canopy through its new business platform team as part of an initiative to tap into a potential revenue stream with consumer software services and subscriptions.

"We're really excited to announce two industry pioneers coming together," said Elliot Cohen, ADT senior vice president and chief business development officer.

The key, he said, is marrying the technology with humans monitoring everything and responding in real time to disrupt activity rather than respond to crime after the fact.

"It starts with cameras, sensors and AI," Cohen said. "The technology we've been piloting can identify somebody loitering by your car. It can identify somebody or something breaching the cargo bay. ... What gets unique about this — the technology will then alert ADT monitoring agents who can then contact customers or fleet managers or even escalate to police and then take additional measures to help prevent theft."

Car owners will be able to sign up to get notified of suspicious activity or monitor the livestream video themselves.

Prices for the devices and services have not been revealed.

A fast-growing problem

"Auto thefts have been on the rise during the pandemic," Cohen said. "We see this as a very timely problem."

Franck Louis-Victor, vice president of the New Businesses Platform Team, joined Ford in June 2021 after a long career in Europe specializing in mobile software.

"Thieves have been even more active during the pandemic and know business owners store valuable equipment in vehicles, often hauling more than $50,000 of gear," he said. "Canopy is here for those who've had enough of thefts that threaten their livelihoods."

Marketing efforts will begin by targeting potential customers like plumbers, electricians, construction workers, landscapers and others who use their vehicles for work, said Christian Moran, interim CEO of Canopy. He told reporters on a conference call that he understands the need for this security because his father is a master carpenter who experienced equipment theft from a vehicle.

The system will trigger a smartphone alert of any indicators of potential criminal activity, such as breaking glass, metal cutting, or suspicious motion or sound near the vehicle, Ford said in a news release.

Customers can warn potential thieves that they are being monitored by speaking through the smartphone app. For instance, a user might say to an intruder, "I can see you, guy in the blue shirt."

Alerting police is an option, too. The video captured can be used to make police reports, Ford said.

Canopy begins with a team of 30 to 40 people, Moran said, with plans to grow over the next three years to 250 employees. The team includes software engineers, hardware engineers, electrical engineers, designers and marketers.

"The software is largely driven by artificial intelligence, so we have deep expertise in AI," he said. "Canopy has the relationship with the customer. We're selling the hardware and the subscription. ADT is the monitoring provider."