By on April 19, 2012

The new highway bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP21, has come under some criticism, in part because of a provision that would give the IRS power to strip American citizens of their U.S. passports if they own the federal government enough money. Another provision of S.1813 also has civil liberties implications, particularly for motorists. If the Senate’s version of the legislation survives the reconciliation process with the House, the final bill would make the installation of event data recorders (EDRs) mandatory in all new cars sold in the United States starting in 2015.

SEC. 31406. VEHICLE EVENT DATA RECORDERS.

(a) Mandatory Event Data Recorders-

(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part.

The cited part of CFR 49, establishes standards for EDRs if manufacturers voluntarily install them. S.1813 would make such installation, as the legislation says, mandatory, with civil penalties imposed on manufacturers for non-compliance. Theoretically the the car owner or lessee would still own the data, but the bill carves out exceptions that could give the government broad access to your personal travel data.

(2) PRIVACY- Data recorded or transmitted by such a data recorder may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle in which the recorder is installed unless–

(A) a court authorizes retrieval of the information in furtherance of a legal proceeding;

(B) the owner or lessee consents to the retrieval of the information for any purpose, including the purpose of diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the motor vehicle;

(C) the information is retrieved pursuant to an investigation or inspection authorized under section 1131(a) or 30166 of title 49, United States Code, and the personally identifiable information of the owner, lessee, or driver of the vehicle and the vehicle identification number is not disclosed in connection with the retrieved information; or

(D) the information is retrieved for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response in response to a motor vehicle crash.

While most Americans would not have much objection to Parts A and B, court ordered or consensual searches, Parts C and D create issues over civil liberties. They also might give the federal government powers that constitutionally rest with the individual states. Traffic laws are enforced at the state and local levels in the United States. Sections 1131 and 30166 of CFR 49 are what gives the National Transportation Safety Board it’s authority to investigate transportation accidents. That authority is fairly broad and technically covers all motor vehicle accidents so the new legislation would appear allow the NTSB to have access to EDR data even in the event of a minor fender bender.

Currently federal and state highway taxes are paid through levies on fuel and some have suggested that the mandated EDRs are a preliminary step to GPS based mileage taxes. Highway taxes, state and federal, are collected through levies on gasoline and diesel fuel (“This truck pays $X,XXX a year in road taxes”). EVs and cars powered by natural gas end up paying no road taxes. Part D references information retrieval to facilitate emergency responses to accidents. That could only work if the data recorder also logged GPS data, so responders would know where to find accident scenes, but which could also be used to determine how many miles you traveled in which jurisdictions for taxing purposes. That comes close to perpetual surveillance.

Part D is potentially very troubling. I can’t see how EDR data can help emergency responders once on the scene, the legislation only makes sense if they have access to the data before getting on scene. It’s access to airbag deployment and GPS data that would facilitate emergency response, getting them to the scene of an accident quickly, not access to that and other data once on scene. None of the information stored in the EDR would be relevant to responders on scene. Part D seems to be purposed to give government agencies real-time access to systems like OnStar, so that emergency responders would be notified of airbag deployments and the like, along with GPS data to locate the site of the accident. Do you really want your government to have real time access to your GPS data?

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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70 Comments on “Will the New Transportation Bill Mandate Black Boxes in All New Cars?...”


  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Snip. The 12V feed to the box just got cut.

    Or will they make the car immobile without it. My guess is Yes.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    I think going from the actual text of part (D) there to “government will have real time access to your GPS data” is a hell of a reach, Ronnie. There’s no requirement in there to wirelessly broadcast anything, nor to collect GPS data. This is more along the lines of “the EDR says that this Volt’s battery appears to be shorted to the subframe, careful with those Jaws of Life”.

    Likewise, part C provides _anonymized_ data to the NTSB so they can investigate things like the “runaway Toyota” mess. The statue requires them to anonymize it right there.

    The fact is, every major automaker already has an event recorder in their computer package so they can diagnose problems that cause frequent warranty claims. The important part of the bill is in 30146(d)(2) where the data format needs to actually be standardized between automakers, the way OBD II now is.

    A more realistic worry is that your insurance provider will want you to hook up something to this recorder in order to avoid a new high rate — sorry, “to get a discount”. But then, some of them are already doing that with their own data recorders.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      For reference, here’s the data that’s getting recorded. Title 49 part 563, US Code of Federal Regulations. There’s no GPS in there. It’s recording speed, acceleration, inputs to throttle, speed, and braking, airbag deployment, seatbelt engagement, passenger size, etc.

      http://www.harristechnical.com/downloads/49CFR563.pdf

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Also, the law states that the contents of the recorder, aside from the terms that Ronnie points out above, are the property of the vehicle owner. This is a big deal — Toyota was trying to claim that they were the property of Toyota during that fiasco the other year, and that the vehicle owner had no right to view the contents but Toyota could do whatever they wanted with the data as it was their intellectual property. I’m glad to see that one resolved.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Yes I think that’s how they determined that Lt Governor in Massachusetts was full of it when he crashed his ’07 Crown Vic at 90mph.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      This is more along the lines of “the EDR says that this Volt’s battery appears to be shorted to the subframe, careful with those Jaws of Life”.

      The other problem there is that how the hell do you access the EDR in that case?

      Or indeed in any case during the immediate aftermath of a crash?

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Maybe a better example would be showing the trauma surgeons how many Gs of crash acceleration there were and in which directions?

        Though I have the feeling that the clause was just crammed in there for the hell of it. The legal ownership of the black box data was previously unclear. The law states that the vehicle owner/lessee owns the data, and then the writer thought up some other circumstances where the data would be needed by others.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    This was inevitable from the moment GPS became available to civilians. And the black box technology started out in the 70′s with air bag systems was meant to provide crash data for improving the deploying mechanism. It seems our overlords have found other uses for the data.
    I won’t worry about this on my bicycle, and probably not my 30 year old motorcycle, yet. When the DMV hands you a transponder and you’re required to carry it when you drive then you know that’s the end of free travel as we know it.

    I don’t think they will be able to retrofit GPS tracking and black boxes into existing cars which don’t have it, but in 20 years most cars are going to be data gold mines for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      bodegabob

      Most of us carry tracking devices that can record location, speed, distance, and most acceleration/deceleration and lateral G info and transmit it instantaneously. You can also play Angry Birds and watch porn on them.

      So? Big deal. I hear Zion is beautiful this time of year.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I watched on TV how cops brought a stolen Tahoe/Yukon to a halt using the OnStar center, by disabling its engine using a cellphone signal. The technology already exists today because transceivers are built into most cars and trucks.

        Our Japan-built 2008 Highlander can give Toyota techs a readout that will blow your mind! I watched them pull it up from the OBDII socket using a laptop PC.

        A lot of info there, among which coolant temp, transmission temp, ambient temp, tire pressure, compass direction, vehicle speed, engine rpm, engine hours, odo reading and several other things I have forgotten.

        It is relatively simple, and cheap, to install a device currently in use by OTR trucking and all Railroads to transmit data to RF sensors at monitoring points like weigh stations and rail yards.

        So the technology exists and is currently in use but the question is, “Who will collect this data and how will it be used against the motorists?”

        If the government gets involved there will be abuse of the data. But it is going to happen so brace yourself for the nanny-state.

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        Go ahead and turn off your phone if you want privacy, you don’t depend on it for transportation. You also can get a prepaid phone without any strings (still) whereas cars are linked to your name and ultimately your bank account. Actually linking your phone to your car is a twofer, lots of information can be shared out that way.

        So many people toss out a “so what” right up until they discover what a problem monitoring and tracking really is. Then it’s “how in the world could this happen?”

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    isnt this already in several production vehicles already?

  • avatar
    twotone

    Whenever I see a sign on a semi that reads: “This vehicle pays $5,555 a year in road taxes.” the first thing I think is yes, but it does $11,111 a year in road damage.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Why do you think that?

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      Um, no. Roads are designed for set loadings with a substantial safety factor built in, so unless a semi is way overloaded, it will not damage anything assuming the road has been properly built. One overloaded truck can do more damage than 100,000 semis in compliance.

      • 0 avatar
        RoadBuilder

        Roads are design for a set number of loadings, however that number varies depending on traffic volume, roadway classification, etc. I can show you a few roads that were doing fine until the area had a boom of resource activity and completely fell apart, even though the vehicle weights were more or less legal.

        Funny fact – transit buses are the worst culprit for damaging roads. The low floor accessible models are 1.6 times over legal weight limits.

      • 0 avatar
        etrnlrvr

        I don’t see how transit buses could possibly be 1.6 times over their weight limit. If they are long enough to not trigger a bridge law exception a two axle bus could legally weigh 36,000 lbs. A 40′ bus weighs around 30K. 1.6 times 36K is almost 57klbs gross. There is no way a bus would weigh that much. Even if you are talking axle weights 1.6 times 20k is 32k and there is no way the drive axle has 32k on it either.

        True some buses might be registered at a lower weight for taxing purposes but that’s not the same as being over the max weight for road loading purposes.

        Also some buses have 40K GVWR but that doesn’t mean they weigh 40K.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Road damage is not a binary case. The roadway is a wear item and each vehicle that drives over it takes a bite out of that lifetime.

        Or maybe they resurface those highways every couple of years for the fun of it.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        Road wear is largely “binary” as you put it. A million cars and light trucks will have essentially no impact other than a bit of wear on the surface course. What affects the subgrade and base – the components that actually keep the road smooth and intact – are heavy loads, and that’s why truck loads per wheel or axle are limited to a certain value (generally a maximum of 800 pounds per inch of wheel width). If your roads require paving every couple of years, then there are other issues such as the wear course not being laid down properly in the first place. One overloaded truck can do more damage than a million cars and that’s no exaggeration. I’m a state-registered civil engineer and this is something I know about.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        The roads themselves aren’t the major issue.

        Take a look at Interstate bridges, especially the ones through urban areas.

        An interesting phenomenon of the last 30 years has been taking bridges that were three or four lanes in each direction with shoulder emergency areas on each side and re-striping them, turning them into four or five lane bridges – now with no shoulder emergancy lanes. An extra lane of traffic with the corresponding added weight and wear and tear has taken its toll.

        This was done in the St. Louis area along I-70 over the Missouri River, here in Cincinnati on I-75 over the Ohio River and many other locations.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        That may be a big if. Some years ago (2002), I drove from DC to Los Angeles, taking I-40 through Oklahoma, Texas, NM, etc. The right lane was actually rutted from truck traffic, to the extent that I ended up in the left lane the whole way because of annoying tramlining while driving in the right lane in a Nissan Altima — an otherwise well-behaved automobile.

        I had never seen or experienced that before. The traffic was not particularly heavy, either, at least not be the standards I’m used to driving on Interstates in the eastern part of the country.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      Here in the Northeast winter weather does more road damage than any amount of traffic can do. Our roads are in great shape this year thanks to the mild winter.

      Does this mean that a big, heavy, carbon-emitting truck is actually good for road longevity by warming the planet and minimizing freeze-thaw cycles?

      -ted

    • 0 avatar
      modelt1918

      Yes, two tone and brings you 22,222 dollars worth of stuff every year! Remember, if you wear it, eat it or use it in anyway, it came to you in a truck.

  • avatar
    PintoFan

    I think you’re making a fairly large jump from EDR to GPS. They’re two different technologies. EDR’s record time and vehicle performance metrics such as throttle input, but they don’t record location. Even in cars equipped with onboard GPS for navigation systems, my understanding is that those systems are independent of EDR’s, which are meant to document engine performance and other system data (like airbag deployment). This law wouldn’t mandate any kind of GPS tracking, just the implementation of a technology that most manufacturers are already using anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Progressive ins already has a similar gadget to monitor speed, driving style etc and then they determine what rates you’re gonna pay.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        Progressive’s device doesn’t track location, only driving habits. And it’s voluntary, and supposedly offered “without risk.” Considering that Progressive is a private company, I fail to see what the parallel is that you are trying to draw.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I would say that the information collected by such an Orwillian device would be a far greater risk to drivers in the hands of private interests rather than the government. Government uses would be what? Per mile tax instead of a fuel tax would be one possibility, but is that so bad? You would be paying for your use of the road, which is covered by a fuel tax already, but as pointed out, certain non combustion vehicles pay nothing and that is not really fair. If speed monitoring is the concern, the lack of GPS means that local speeding would be underreported but runs into the triple digits would certainly be noted. How much of this matters? Already there have been cases where cars have been tracked without warrant and our high court seems ok with it.

        Far more of a concern is what private industry will do with this information. Your insurance company would love the ability to surcharge you to oblivion, and it is only a matter of time before the insurance industry will download information anytime a car is in for a claim. Uncle Sam is not the threat. The profiteering bastards that sell insurance or services will be over this big time. Progressive’s Snapshot is voluntary but before long I’ll bet non-partcipation will mean automatic higher rates.

        So, find this device in your car, remove the screws and reattach with Velcro. Should you get into an accident, disconnect and remove it from your car and stash it somewhere for later retrieval. Put a decal of a middle finger in the location of the removed device.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I agree the third party use will be most troubling, but its not as if they are going to repeal fuel excise taxes and replace them with per mile based taxation… you’ll get both! Tax and steal is the name of their game, because nobody has the balls to reign on on the wasteful spending and live within their means. Oh so you work for dot gov, great your benefit is you have a job, no shady overtime, no fat pension, no mandatory pay increase or Cadillac benefits, it all needs to end yesterday. I don’t really care if your job sucks or fulfills you, plenty of people out there that will line up to take it off your hands.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        The remove on accident plan will work until the companies become aware of such an idea, and then rewrite their contracts to drop coverage in the event of removal or obvious intentional damage or tampering.

        Oh wait, they just have!

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I’d be willing to bet such tracking capability is already in the software, ready to be activated….

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      To include GPS capability in such a device, you would have to have a transponder that could coordinate with a GPS satellite. It’s not just a piece of software.

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        Nope. GPS data can be handed off to another subsystem quite easily. The GPS satellites can not receive any transmissions from GPS devices, they are just digital lighthouses.
        Real time tracking is difficult, but thanks to On star or other cellular based car services it’s a piece of cake.
        Data can be stored and buffered to RAM and then cache flushed to roadside receivers through a bluetooth connection or some other method not yet popularized. Fast enough data transmission rates can send a variety of data.

        The same remarkable ingenuity that goes into a smart phone is all around us already.

  • avatar
    George B

    The ultimate solution is to simply get the federal government out of the job of funding transportation. The federal government doesn’t have general police power so they use taxing and spending to coerce state and local government into doing things the feds can’t do directly. I am willing to bet that my home state of Texas could fund significantly more road construction if the excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel collected in the state were dedicated to road construction without diverting money to public transit, bike paths, federal bureaucracy, and all those other expenses that do nothing to help cars and trucks get from point A to point B faster.

    The big problem I have with an event recorder recording what my car does is that it will show that I’m almost constantly violating the law. I drive roughly 10 mph over the speed limit everywhere all the time.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      “fund significantly more road construction if the excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel collected in the state were dedicated to road construction without diverting money”

      Amen brother. Don’t forget the fricking universities they fund with their transit bills.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Oh, brave new world that has such people in it.

    This will be mandated in Obama’s second term.

  • avatar
    thesparrow

    Anyone who isn’t frightened by the implications of this and similar laws is either dead stupid or just not paying attention. Big Brother is rapidly turning against us. And now the IRS wants to take away Americans passports if it deems they own them money?? Isn’t that a form of extortion and potentially imprisionment for masses of citizens within our own borders? Maybe instead of worrying about illegals coming INTO our country, we should be worried about being allowed OUT.

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      If you were going to be frightened by the implications of EDR, then you missed that ship 15 years ago. The federal government has been able to put you in jail for evasion of taxes basically since the country was founded. That’s kind of how revenue collection works: you either pay or you face the consequences. Most people who aren’t Grover Norquist don’t throw tantrums about this, because they realize that paying taxes is part of everyone’s civic duty. Tax enforcement only becomes a problem when somebody with a D next to their name occupies the White House; otherwise, it would be lauded as righteous crackdown on scofflaws.

      • 0 avatar
        Elorac

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Yet there are better ways to collect taxes than the current system with its 70,000 pages of code operated by an agency that incorrectly interpets that code more than 50% of the time. The tax code has grown beyond its intended purpose to make money for the government so that it can pay its bills and now is also used to control the behavior of citizens.

        Anyways enough about that, fodder for another discussion on The Truth About Taxes.

        I’m not a fan of EDRs since they’ve grown beyond thier original intended purpose of making cars safer and are now legal tools that can be used against the owner. Also can’t wait to see where this goes with law enforcement vehicles – where it might be used as credible evidence in a conviction against a private citizen yet for whatever reason wouldn’t hold up when used against law enforcement (like in three states that I know of taking video or pictures without consent is illegal).

        The sad part about all this if the feds do indeed end up with a data aquisition system that is used to moniter private citizens a) they will probably sell it as another tool agaisnt terrorism b) in a generation or two it will have “always been there”.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        I agree with you that the tax code ought to be simplified, but the need for a collection agency will always be there in one form or another.

        As far as EDRs go, there are potential downsides to every technology, but getting the truth about how an accident occurred certainly isn’t one of them. To those who are worried that this might expose your bad driving habits when you cause an accident, suck it up. I don’t really see why applying the data equally to LEO’s would be a problem; in fact, this would make it much easier to prosecute them for reckless driving.

      • 0 avatar
        thesparrow

        PintoFan: Gee thank you for stating the obvious – that is all completely new information to me… You seem to be be quite the apologist for “government policy” – do you work for them?

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I disagree, confiscating your passport is a little extreme. Government has always taken a cut and been in the background nothing is new about this, however the chips are very down and they are well aware they can only keep the gravy train going for so long. This is a sign of desperation because the mega-rich WILL flee at the first sign of significant unrest, the trouble is with enough money you can buy anything and anyone, safe passage out, fake passports/identities, etc. But the rest of us, oh no we’ve been trapped. We already have a society where something like only half pay any income tax, the same half will get out of many more taxes/living expenses and still collect services they contribute little to nothing toward. Washington and the powers that be will do anything to keep it all from suddenly crashing down, the next logical move is to increase taxes to the hilt of those who do pay as time goes on to squeeze us dry. They’ll just keep stacking them up until there is some fee or tax you forgot/could not pay and wham you’re blacklisted from leaving. So those with the means to leave who haven’t left will suddenly be compelled to stay, kind of like the end of the party where you’re left to clean up the mess because everyone else bailed or is too drunk or sleeping. Now they will be able to track your movements, forget the fact they already can if they want to come after you a la Enemy of the State… but if you somehow become a NSA or CIA target you probably deserve it. But now every po-dunk officer from here to Kalamazoo can track your movement and rail on you with impunity should the mood strike them. This is about a big grab for your freedom… the rich will find ways out, the poor are already bought and paid for, but everyone else who may be of value or productive is being targeted. Couple this with the already troubling powers of the Patriot Act, and put them in the hands of a dangerous administration, you have a recipe for permanent emergency powers and the suspension of rights. Even if this doesn’t go down on Barry’s watch, his administration has already set a precedent for ignoring Constitutional law and ruling by executive orders. His successor(s) could easily do the same, they have built up such a monster bureaucracy they seemingly cannot or are unwilling to deflate it. The only real solution is to begin to dismantle the beast, which politically and logistically is going to be very difficult. We live in perilous times.

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        Maybe Pintofan is willing to accept the D version of life in these United States but not everyone is. Anything that provides a mechanism for abuse will be abused. They are setting the stage for the day when lemmings everywhere nod their head in approval at what they come up with.

        How would you like your nanny state? Sunny side up with a side order of grits?

  • avatar
    86er

    I pulled a black box out of my truck last night.

    Now, no more annoying buzzing when the door is open and the key is in.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Note to my 98 Corolla, I’m hanging on to you for the foreseeable future, sweetheart, New engine mounts and transmission flush coming up!

  • avatar
    MBella

    That’s an SRS control module in the picture.

  • avatar
    Marko

    I thought all (or almost all) manufacturers were already putting in EDRs voluntarily.

  • avatar
    daviel

    so what?

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    No, I don’t want such a device in my new car. I do think it is highly likely to happen for two reasons; 1) the cost will be absorbed by the purchaser, and 2) it gives more power to the government.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    That kind of data is only scary if you are doing something illegal and it could even go a long way in helping oneself prove that you were not doing any thing illegal at the time of a crash. Works both ways…

    • 0 avatar
      John

      Beerboy – there’s a little thing called the “Fourth Amendment” to our Constitution that states that our government and it’s agents can only search you, your car, or your house if they have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime, and are in possession of a search warrant (with a few exceptions). Now I do realize this amendment has been largely shredded in the past decade or so, but it’s till there.
      That’s why police don’t randomly stop and search you as you go about your business on the sidewalk (“only scary if you are doing something illegal). There is also a “Fifth Amendment” to our Constitution which states we have the right to refuse to give information to the government and it’s agents that might tend to incriminate us.

      It’s very possible these EDR’s could be used in ways that violate both amendments. And don’t expect the police to have to be in actually possession of the EDR – it would be very easy to manufacture one that would translate a signal that could be downloaded to a police officers iPad when he pulls you over for a traffic stop. “Sir, do you know how fast you were going?” “No.”
      “At 18.32.57 at the 156th. foot of 16th. Ave. you were going 51.23mph in a 35mph zone.”

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    Looks like the proverbial camel’s nose.

    Once they begin, what other capabilities can be added to EDR without statutory / legislative action, but instead regulatory action (e.g., socialized medicine /Obamacare, or Dodd Frank)?

    >>”authorized under section 1131(a) or 30166 of title 49, United States Code”

    Merely amend that statute to expand what can be monitored / checked, and voila!

    Also, once in cars, what can individual states (e.g., Californazis) enact to leverage this technology?

    Ultimately, government is not your friend and doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Understand that, and all will be clear.

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      This.
      Those that believe section C limits the data or even that A,B and D afford any protection don’t get it. Once on the books the original intent can be amended and tweaked.
      The first step is mandating the presence of the monitor. What happens next builds on that precedence.

  • avatar
    turtletop

    Those are some nice smartphones you’ve got in your pockets there, citizens. GPS, lots of on-board memory, why, even microphones and cameras. Always connected to the network, too. And how about those accelerometers they built in? What absolutely perfect little event recorders they’d make! And all of them carried voluntarily by their users.

    Yep, pretty nice phones.

    Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    kuman

    how do u think google manages to monitor the traffic? i heard rumors saying by tapping to the GSM signal from the nearby BTS. And your smartphones monitors your location all the time. Even with out GPS being active they already have the means to know roughly how fast n your general location. this is just another step up before they start barcoding our forehead and implanting transponder in our brain so they can monitor what we were thinking of.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    We have a lot of these devices installed into our truck fleet already. As a mechanic, it’s a positive, because when a driver runs his semi over a passenger vehicle he’s going to think of any excuse he can to weasel out of responsibility, usually a “mechanic failure” of some sort. The data recorders can help disprove that.

    Now, do I want one in my car? No. But, with a heavy understanding in this stuff, it’s not hard to disable the system, or at least the ones we have, and even if it was heavily built into the vehicle module systems, you can still get around it.

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      And since they are company trucks, a company is within their rights, hell even encouraged, to do so.
      If the government gives me a car, fills it with gas, and pays all the expenses they can monitor how it’s used to their heart’s content.
      For some in this country, that’s a goal of government too.

  • avatar
    russification

    classy

  • avatar
    mountainman

    So, in addition to disabling the seat belt chime when I get a new car, I will also have to snip the 12v connector to the EDR. I can handle that…..

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Tinfoil hat aside, this is a waste of money and resources. The only people who actually think this is a good idea and is worthwhile are those able to make a buck on it.

  • avatar

    Solution: Buy a great new car in 2014 (or an older car that will last forever with care, like an old-school diesel MB) and take reeeeeeally good care of it.

  • avatar
    alluster

    This will come down to who can write a bigger check. If the blackbox manufacturers can cut a bigger check to the NHTSA than the auto oem’s lobby, we can all expect to see expensive blackboxes on all new cars.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    They’re already in cars. The only difference here is there will be a standard that will allow owners to actually see what’s being tracked – unlike each maker’s proprietary codes now – and it’s determined the car’s owner is the owner of the data. It’s already there, and been there for at least ten years.

    Everything else is just knee-jerk whining about big government demonstrating a lack of understanding about civics that an eighth grader could explain. As has been pointed out earlier, you have a lot more to fear from third parties that can read your cell phone or know you look at this website.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    I’m amazed by the amount of people that actually don’t mind this Orwellian turn of events being propagated by members of both “parties.” Just wait until your next divorce or child custody hearing and your travel and driving style get subpoena’d into the record to show you’re an unfit parent. Your whereabouts are now available to the Fed (and any other law enforcement agency that wants them) on demand. Next time you do a slow roll through a stop sign or hit 41 in a 35 your ticket will be in the mail.


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