Big Opel/Vauxhall Is Watching
From the birthplace of George Orwell, now the most-watched nation in the world, comes news of a car that has nanny-cams of its own. Car Magazine UK tells us that the new Vauxhall/Opel Insignia will offer a camera system that can read traffic signs, and alert the driver when they have violated them. GM's Traffic Sign Recognition system uses a Hella-sourced (not in the Nor-Cal slang sense) wide-angle camera, that can take 30 photos per second at a range of up to 100 meters. It can recognize traffic signs, and by comparing them to an on-board database, it can tell if the driver is violating their edicts. When you drive your Insignia at 25 mph in a 20 mph zone, expect a "reminder" to flash on your dashboard, removing any doubt that you are, in fact, breaking the law. Though the proliferation of remote speed-control cameras in Britain give this option some merit there, less repressive societies will doubtless provide much weaker markets for GM's new technology. Still, when we heard that GM would "democratize technology" with its newly-upmarket Opel/Vauxhall brands, the last thing we expected was an option that facilitates continuous government intrusion into the driving experience. Sounds more like they've "totalitarianized technology."