Automotive News [sub] hasn’t received the memo that EVs need good news, badly. Instead, AN hammers the last nail into the electric vehicle’s coffin. If range anxiety, the lack of 220V outlets at your curbside parking spot, and high prices aren’t enough to keep you away from an electric car, how about “an Orwellian future where faceless international corporations track your every move. Drop by the bar after work, call in sick to go to the beach, visit your mistress’ house. The all-seeing eye of Big Brother knows where you’ve been.”
That’s what will happen when you drive an EV, says Automotive News [EN]. Your green friend will snitch on you. 24/7. The car will be ”continuously connected through the wireless Internet to data centers monitoring the car’s location, battery charge and driving range.” Why? It’s for your own good:
“By using such advanced telematics, drivers can locate nearby charging stations, know how far they can drive before draining the battery, monitor traffic to take less crowded routes, assess their driving habits to improve mileage and compare their mileage with that of other electric car drivers.”
TTAC readers know since the beginning of the year that this is afoot. Nissan is opening a huge earthquake proof data center, along with the launch of their Leaf. They need a lot of storage, because according to AN, Nissan’s “CarWings telematics system will retain historical driving, charging and electricity consumption information globally.”
Toyota will even snoop further. They will invade you house! Says Automotive News: “Toyota envisions a similar scenario with so-called “smart homes” connected to plug-in hybrids. This system would not only monitor driving but also home energy habits.” So no grow lights in the basement, you hear? Automotive News hammers a few more nails into the coffin:
- “Securing this wealth of private information will be a key trust issue in promoting a future that makes the most of electric vehicles’ potential. “
- “Imagine the potential for summoning such records in lawsuits.”
- “If personal privacy is botched, electric vehicles could end up more like tracking devices.”
Personally, I think EVs have no great future. Hence, their impact on your privacy will remain subdued. And privacy, what privacy? OnStar already knows that you visited your mistress, or parked for hours in front of a strip club. You credit card company will vouch(er) for it. Your cell phone provider has a very good idea of where you are at any given time, even without GPS. Your friendly electric utility knows how much power you use, and they won’t keep it a secret. “When electric companies notice unreasonably high power usages or patterns of use that fall in line with grow house light cycles, they go straight to the authorities,” explains Howstuffworks. For a few dollars, I can match your P.O.Box to your home address. Electronically stalking you is creepy, agreed. But it falls in the realm of general creepiness.
Nothing new. Move along. And take that battery out of your cell phone.