Sat Nav Jammer Threatens UK Road Pricing Scheme

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
sat nav jammer threatens uk road pricing scheme

Auto Express reports that our doubts about the integrity of two-way electronic automotive communications are fully justified. The mag has uncovered a £700 device that emits a radio wave that blocks the signal emanating from global positioning satellites. As a result, the car's on-board "black box" can’t record movement data. The jammer also blocks mobile phone signals to stop the black box from sending information back to its base. Bottom line: a jammer-equipped car would be invisible to a GPS-based road charging system. (Not to mention the possibility of jamming someone else's car.) And that means that the UK's movement towards Big Brother policing "pay as you go" road pricing could be stymied by industrious hackers. Of course, Europe has already outlawed passive radar detectors and (I swear) deploys radar detector detectors. The cat-and-mouse e-games could just be beginning.

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  • LK LK on Aug 09, 2007

    Actually, radar detectors *do* emit enough radiation that they can be picked up by other devices - radar detector detectors exist, and are used in both Canada and Australia (not sure about the UK). Last I heard, the popular brands of RDDs were the Spectre and Stalcar...though my info is a couple of years old, and perhaps the radar detector makers have figured out how to defeat the RDDs. They use the same technology that allows one radar detector to set off another radar detector - I know the detector I had a few years back would set off other radar detectors up to a distance of about 100 feet.

  • VLAD VLAD on Aug 09, 2007

    There would be a really easy way to detect the sat nav jammers. If you can't find what's supposed to be there then you look for what is missing. If you can legislate the device then you can legislate automatic random transmissions. If the ability to fully monitor is not there, then you monitor randomly. How lucky would people feel if the charge is tax evasion? The way to beat the revenue nazi's is for the people to refuse to purchase anything that incorporates this type of technology. Only way they listen is if you hit them in the pocketbook.

  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Aug 09, 2007

    What if you just took a hammer to the offending black box? Wouldn't that be easier and cheaper?

  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Aug 09, 2007

    BTW, assuming that these "black boxes" in the car are mandated, I would imagine the next step would be to incorporate some kind of electronic kill switch that deactivates the engine unless a signal from the monitoring device is received.