EDRs in your cars (hey that rhymes)
Im interested to see what you guys think about this.
For thoe of you not big into hyperlinking -
By ERIC PETERS
Big Brother will be watching you for sure by 2008 -- the year a proposed requirement that Event Data Recorders (EDRs) become mandatory standard equipment in all new cars and trucks will become law unless public outrage puts the kibosh on it somehow.
EDRs are "black boxes" -- just like airplanes have. They can record a wide variety of things -- including how fast you drive and whether you "buckle-up for safety." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants EDRs to be installed in every new vehicle beginning with model year 2008 -- on the theory that the information will help crash investigators more accurately determine the hows and whys of accidents.
But EDRs could -- and likely will be -- used for other purposes as well.
Tied into GPS navigation computers, EDRs could give interested parties the ability to take automated ticketing to the next level. Since the data recorders can continuously monitor most of the operating parameters of a vehicle as it travels -- and the GPS unit can precisely locate the vehicle in "real time," wherever it happens to be at any given moment -- any and all incidents of "speeding" could be immediately detected and a piece of paying paper issued to the offender faster than he could tap the brake. That's even if he knew he was in the crosshairs, which of course he wouldn't. Probably they'll just erect an electronic debiting system of some sort that ties directly into your checking account -- since the paperwork could not keep up with the massive uptick in fines that would be generated.
What Do You Think?
If you think this is just a dark-minded paranoiac vision, think again. Rental car companies have already deployed a very similar system of onboard electronic monitoring to identify customers who dare to drive faster than the posted limit -- and automatically tap them with a "surcharge" for their scofflaw ways. While this inventive form of "revenue enhancement" was challenged and subsequently batted down by the courts, the technology continues to be honed -- and quietly put into service.
Already, 15-20 percent of all the cars and trucks in service have EDRs; most of these are General Motors vehicles. GM has been installing "black boxes" in its new cars and trucks since about 1996 as part of the Supplemental Restraint (air bag) system. Within a few years, as many as 90 percent of all new motor vehicles will be equipped with EDRs, according to government estimates -- whether the requirement NHTSA is pushing actually becomes law or not.
The automakers are just as eager to keep tabs on us as the government -- in part to keep the lawyers who have been so successfully digging into their deep pockets at bay. EDRs would provide irrefutable evidence of high-speed driving, for example -- or make it impossible for a person injured in a crash to deny he wasn't wearing a seat belt.
Insurance companies will launch "safety" campaigns urging that "we use available technology" to identify "unsafe" drivers -- and who will be able to argue against that? Everyone knows that speeding is against the law -- and if you aren't breaking the law, what have you got to worry about?
It's all for our own good.
But if you get edgy thinking about the government -- and our friends in corporate America -- being able to monitor where we go and how we go whenever they feel like checking in on us, take the time to write a "Thanks, but no thanks" letter to NHTSA at http://dms.dot.gov/
I'll be driving a restored rod and a motorcylce by then...and when not in one of the two I'll walk.
In theory the fact that they want to use it for crash investigations is nice.... but what is the percent of crashes per driver per anum that they need to invest that much technology.
As it is there have been uproars over the EZ-pass system and tolls with tickets as they record the time you went through a toll on both ends.. and seeing as the distance is known... distance over time equals velocity/speed.
We'll just have to follow this and see where it goes.
They can't do anything.. it fals in the shade of gray/grey called entrapment from what i have heard (Drum, if I'm wrong chime in).
This is exactly why I gave up using my fast lane transponder. I still have it for emergencies, but 49 times out of 50 I don't use it. I don't want the government having a record or where I go, when I go, and how fast I drive to get there.
Luckily, there is legislation out there which will require car manufacturers to inform their customers if the car is equipped with a data recorder. It's a start at least:
People will only get pissed about it if they start getting screwed. In the UK they have speed trap cameras installed to automatically collect a road tax ... and people are fighting back:
God I love that!
There's only so much people will take. I think the politicians realize that the vast majority of them are absolutely worthless human beings, and the reason they have so much power is that most people just don't care. There's a line that they don't want to cross ... and if they start to constantly reach into a persons pockets then people will really start caring about politics.
One of the articles that I read recently said that a majority of cars sold this year are equipped with these "black box" EDR things. I was a little bit surprised by this.
In philly they have such a HUGE problem with people running red lights that they have installed cameras at intersections.. you run a red or advance into the intersection and get stuck there after the red, then you get a ticket.
Im totaly against it.
Looks like ill be buying an older car or have the black box removed somehow.
Maybe if they limited the functions like no wireless trasmition and no automated tickets. Even then I dont like it....
I have an EDR in my car. Let me tell you this. Miss "LEAD FOOT" my wife knows one thing.If she gets a ticket and tries to tell me she wasn't speeding,the first thing I will do is have the box downloaded. Same thing goes for her little blinker issues of just putting them on before she turns. The box helps me,cause now she knows she can't say she wasn't doing what she was ticketed for. The parinoid factor of recording your conversation or tracking you is just something for people to complain about. The Government has been tracking and listening in on you for yrs. Long before 9/11. It's just more noticable now. The box is beneficial ie how hard you were hit by that idiot that ran the stop sign. Just my 2 cents.
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