Every vehicle has its own vehicle identification number (VIN), a series of digits unique to that car. The VIN is located on the dashboard, where it's viewable through the car's windshield. Covering the VIN to hide it from prying outside eyes is one way for car thieves to hide a vehicle's identity. Once a car is stolen and makes it to a chop shop, kiss it goodbye; it'll be carved up and sold for parts, and a single VIN number won't do much good. But through a process called VIN etching, you can apply that one-of-a-kind identification number to your car windows, making it difficult and expensive to sell the car off for parts.
VINshield is a product that makes it easy to apply VIN serials to all of your car windows. A do-it-yourself kit includes stencils with your VIN and a chemical agent to apply to the window to etch the identification code into the glass. The two warning stickers that come with VINshield may do an even better job of warding off potential thieves. VIN etching can't track your car by GPS, or immobilize the engine or set off a blaring warning siren, but it can discourage carjackers and make your car more difficult to sell illicitly. Best of all, a single car VINshield kit sells for a mere $19.95, far less than the majority of car security systems [source: VINshield].
VINshield wraps it up for practical security measures, but that's not the end of the road. Some of the most amazing high-tech security systems aren't exactly on the market yet -- in fact, some only exist in fiction. Let's take a look at what futuristic car security Nissan and Lexus have been working on.