It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


ATS: Should You be Told Your Vehicle has a Black Box

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 03:50 PM
North Dakota State Senator Raymon Holmberg was unaware at the time of purchase, that his new car came equipped with a black box that recorded his speed and seat belt use. Holmberg believes that his privacy rights have been infringed upon, since the dealer did not disclose the tracking equipment at the time of sale, and he is pushing for a state law that would require manufactures to release this information to consumers.
According to the National Highway Transportation Administration, about 15 percent of vehicles - or about 30 million cars and trucks - have black boxes. About 65 percent to 90 percent of 2004 cars and trucks have them, according to the NHTA.

Holmberg, a state senator, believes his privacy was violated and is taking aim at black boxes. Lawmakers in 10 other states are also hoping to regulate black boxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

According to North Dakota Highway Patrol officer Capt. Mark Bethke, the information collected is rarely obtained and has never been used in court. Still, we must ask why someone would be interested in gathering this information unless there was a purpose or plan for it.

Currently there are some insurance companies who are willing to give discounts in exchange for your release of your driving information. That's how these things slip into place. First it a voluntary test program among the select few, and then once it works it's way into being the norm it is required.

Senator Raymon Holmberg's main concern seems to be that there is no legislation to state who is allowed to collect and analyze your driving information. Is it illegal to store this information in a database? If only we could find a way for people to have an individual tracking device on their person, and then we could collect information on who was behind the wheel, where they were going to, and how fast they were going there. Of course we'll monitor if they drove there using their seat belt as well. The Orwellian society doesn't appear to be that far off.

[edit on 25-3-2005 by dbates]

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 03:54 PM
Ford has or had a recorder that colleceted 2 seconds woth of data to allow enginners to use in the event of a crash to analyze the performance of protection system.

But no, I do not think it should be allowed. However, RF tags like EZPass or FastTrac InCalifornia can measure speed by comparing time between points.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 03:57 PM
would we even hear about it if it wasn't a Senator or some "elite" who encountered this? Will a law banning such boxes extend to the rest of us or just the "ruling class"?

Should such boxes be installed without owner knowledge? no. Should there be an option to install or enable them if the owner agrees? why not. Should Ford engineers get valuable data from me without paying for it? hell no. My car, my data.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 03:58 PM
This information would be helpful if the vehicle were in an accident and if an injured party pursued a lawsuit against their insurance company.
We all know that speeding and not wearing your seatbelt are against the law in the USA so this is likely why these boxes are installed.

By the way heres a bit for those who don't like seatbelts.

I wear mine. No biggie.

[edit on 25-3-2005 by Lanotom]

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:00 PM
I was thinking about the same thing, a protection against auto product liability suits.

But I could also see this being extended to be used by the government to monitor all sorts of things.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:11 PM
I am not in favor of any devices in the car that I am purchasing with my money.

If i didn't ask for it I don't want it.

And now that I know what is going on, I will make sure that if the dealer doesn't tell me after I ask them, I will find out and demand to be taken out.

How dare them.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:11 PM
I will look, but I remember reading somehwere that it was with OBD II a person can have the ability to review any part of your vehicle, and also track your vehicle, ANY vehicle. There is a small GPS unit in there.

see this link for proof of avialable technology.

and ON-star. It is in all gm cars and luxury vehciles, even if it is not activated. Your vehicle can be stopped for 1000's of miles away.

[edit on 25-3-2005 by esdad71]

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:13 PM

Originally posted by Phugedaboudet
would we even hear about it if it wasn't a Senator or some "elite" who encountered this? Will a law banning such boxes extend to the rest of us or just the "ruling class"?

Should such boxes be installed without owner knowledge? no. Should there be an option to install or enable them if the owner agrees? why not. Should Ford engineers get valuable data from me without paying for it? hell no. My car, my data.

You said it all. I will simply add, that the potential uses for this may be efficient, but the potential abuses I would say far outweigh what the average consumer will know as the agenda of progress. The word "consumer" alone bothers me, it's quite souless. Progress seems to be the daily mantra for increasing surveillance in our technologically enslaved society.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:18 PM
And soon to come, OBD III

OBDII is a very sophisticated and capable system for detecting emissions problems. But when it comes to getting motorists to fix emission problems, it’s no more effective than OBDI. Unless there’s some means of enforcement, such as checking the MIL light during a mandatory inspection, OBDII is just another idiot light.

Currently under development are plans for OBDIII, which would take OBDII a step further by adding telemetry. Using miniature radio transponder technology similar to that which is already being used for automatic electronic toll collection systems, an OBDIII-equipped vehicle would be able to report emissions problems directly to a regulatory agency. The transponder would communicate the vehicle VIN number and any diagnostic codes that were present. The system could be set up to automatically report an emissions problem via a cellular or satellite link the instant the MIL light comes on, or to answer a query from a cellular, satellite or roadside signal as to its current emissions performance status.

What makes this approach so attractive to regulators is its effectiveness and cost savings. Under the current system, the entire vehicle fleet in an area or state has to be inspected once every year or two to identify the 30% or so vehicles that have emissions problems. With remote monitoring via the onboard telemetry on an OBDIII-equipped vehicle, the need for periodic inspections could be eliminated because only those vehicles that reported problems would have to be tested.

On one hand, OBDIII with its telemetry reporting of emission problems would save consumers the inconvenience and cost of having to subject their vehicle to an annual or biennial emissions test. As long as their vehicle reported no emission problems, there’d be no need to test it. On the other hand, should an emissions problem be detected, it would be much harder to avoid having it fixed—which is the goal of all clean air programs anyway. By zeroing in on the vehicles that are actually causing the most pollution, significant gains could be made in improving our nation’s air quality. But as it is now, polluters may escape detection and repair for up to two years in areas that have biennial inspections. And in areas that have no inspection programs, there’s no way to identify such vehicles. OBDIII would change all that.

According to Mark Carlock with California’s Air Resources Board, the technology exists now to make OBDIII possible. "The idea is to streamline the inspection process by only inspecting those vehicles that really need it." Carlock says the technology to do so is "no big deal." But he concedes that it would be the model year 2000 at the soonest before OBDIII might actually be required on new vehicles.

A prototype system built by GM Hughes Electronics has already been evaluated by ARB that uses a roadside transmitter to interrogate vehicles as they pass by. The system uses ultra low power 10 milliwatt receiver stations and 1 milliwatt transmitters (which is about 1,000 times less power than a typical cellular telephone) with a broadcast frequency of 915 Mhz. The system is reportedly capable of retrieving information from 8 lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic whizzing by at speeds up to 100 mph!

When the vehicle receiver hears the query signal from a stationary or portable roadside transmitter, it transmits back an answer in the form of the vehicle’s 17-digit VIN number plus an "okay" signal or any trouble codes that may be present. The information can then be used to identify vehicles that are in violation of clean air statutes so a notice can be sent that repairs and/or smog testing is required. Or, the information could be used on the spot to identify vehicles for a pullover roadside emissions check or issuing an emissions citation.

The projected cost of such a system would be $50 per vehicle, says Carlock, based on similar transponders that are in use for electronic toll collecting. The transponders are about the size of a small calculator.

The same basic approach could also be used with existing cellular phone links (local station networks) and/or satellite systems. To keep motorists from tampering with or disabling their telemetry systems, vehicles could be interrogated randomly or on a scheduled basis to monitor their condition. The OBDIII telemetry could also be combined with global positioning system (GPS) technology to document or monitor the whereabouts of vehicles.

Orbiting 11,000 miles above the earth’s surface are 24 military satellites that make up the Navstar global positioning system. By timing radio signals from these satellites, the position of a vehicle, boat or plane anywhere on the earth can be fixed within a few meters. The GPS system is currently used by many fleets for tracking the whereabouts of their vehicles as well as by onboard navigation systems for pinpointing a vehicle’s location on an electronic map.

The advantages of using a satellite based telemetry system for OBDIII rather than a roadside system are:

Greater coverage of the entire vehicle population for more accurate surveillance. Vehicles could be monitored and queried no matter where they were, even while sitting in a garage or driveway. There’d be no way to avoid the watchful eye of the emissions police.
Being able to locate vehicles that are in violation of clean air statutes, either for "demographic studies" or to track down and arrest violators.
Being able to monitor the whereabouts of vehicles for purposes other than emissions surveillance such as recovering stolen vehicles (like today’s LoJack anti-theft system), keeping tabs on suspected drug dealers, gang members and other undesirables.
Being able to disable vehicles that belong to emission scofflaws by transmitting a secret code. Law enforcement officers might also be able to use such a code to disable a vehicle fleeing from a crime scene or one that belonged to someone with a backlog of unpaid traffic violations.
The specter of having Big Brother in every engine compartment and driving a vehicle that rats on itself anytime it pollutes is not one that would appeal to many motorists. So the merits of OBDIII would have to be sold to the public based on its cost savings, convenience and ability to make a real difference in air quality. Even so, any serious attempt to require OBDIII in the year 2000 or beyond will run afoul of Fourth Amendment issues over rights of privacy and protection from government search and seizure. Does the government have the right to snoop under your hood anytime it chooses to do so, or to monitor the whereabouts of your vehicle? These issues will have to be debated and resolved before OBDIII stands a chance of being accepted. Given the current political climate, such drastic changes seem unlikely.

Another change that might come with OBDIII would be even closer scrutiny of vehicle emissions. The misfire detection algorithms currently required by OBDII only watch for misfires during driving conditions that occur during the federal driving cycle, which covers idle to 55 mph and moderate acceleration. It does not monitor misfires during wide open throttle acceleration. Full range misfire detection will be required for 1997 models. OBDIII could go even further by requiring "fly-by-wire" throttle controls to reduce the possibility of misfires on the coming generation of low emission and ultra low emission vehicles.

So until OBDIII winds its way through the regulatory process, all we have to worry about is diagnosing and repairing OBDII-equipped vehicles and all the non-OBD vehicles that came before them.

Sounds to me like a person at a computer somehwere at anytime could pull up and know exactly where you are and what you are doing.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:22 PM
You know how abuses may come? in the way of higher prices on car insurances when they find you if you are a high risk driver.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:28 PM
Should a prospective vehicle buyer be informed that the car, truck, etc. he or she may buy is equipped with a EDR [Event Data Recorder] or "black box"?


On the debate concerning the EDR/black box, there is no doubt that this could/can provide an important contribution to safety issues and comes with inherent benefits, but the overall consumer(s) should decide if they want their vehicles to be so equipped [offered as an option that would come with insurance discounts, etc.], not the government [be it local, state, or national]. This is a privacy issue and debate, one that revolves around the collection of 'good' [non-abused] and/or 'bad' [that can be abused] data/information that can undoubtedly be used or shared without an individual permission or acceptance. Any time personal data/information is given, it should be because "I" wanted it shared or given, not because the government [local, state, or national] deemed it necessary or warrented.

The EDR/black box should ["should" implying moral and ethical issues] have legislation passed [as in California] requiring either the state [where vehicle is bought] or vehicle manufacturer to give notice either via the vehicle's owner manual or via paperwork when and where the vehicle is bought.

This issue should be about consumer choice, not local, state, or national mandated.


[edit on 25-3-2005 by Seekerof]

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:33 PM
And in new tolls and taxes. Taxes for driving downtown during hours that just happen to be the ones you work. Extra taxes for driving too much mileage in a given day. Extra taxes because you own a car and don't drive it enough. Extra fees because you drove on a holiday instead of staying home with your family. Extra fees because it's Tuesday.

Give any government another way to tax you and they *will* use it. It's a historical consistency. All that changes is the excuses they give to shaft you. Ask our friends in the UK about little taxes for driving "downtown".

Is there anyone but me, who gets an eerie feleing, when on that description of OBDIII, the only benefit mentioned is to "regulators"? Not to "consumers" (I hate that word!) or owners, or taxpayers...just those who see the people as nothing more than revenue sources to be harvested.

I am not a "consumer", I am not a number. I am not a walking wallet for companies and government to fight over. To the corporate heads and government rulers I say "HEY! You F**kers work for ME! Remember THAT!"

Originally posted by marg6043
You know how abuses may come? in the way of higher prices on car insurances when they find you if you are a high risk driver.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:39 PM
Hey I agree with you Phugedaboudet we all americans are born already with a price tag, and the mark of the corporations beast on our foreheard.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:42 PM
oh please! what's next? a black box for your refrigerator? although technological advancements are great...i sometimes think they go too far

i definately would not want that device in my vehicle.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 04:47 PM
The problem with relying on black box data in a wreck is it could be misleading. How is it monitored and stored?

Will driving out of a parking garage before you belt up make it appear that you weren't belted in when you are involved in an accident a mile down the road? Does it record it real time or just take a note that the belt wasn't applied within X seconds of startup?

Spend a Saturday racing your Vette, leave the track property and get hit by someone speeding while crossing the yellow line. The data could incriminate you or cause your insurance to be cancelled.

"Sorry, we are denying your claim and coverage because you were speeding." Is this what people are going to hear when they are involved in an accident on the freeway? Going 60 in a 55 zone because you were keeping with the flow of traffic which is safer than everybody going different speeds. After all, we all know that nobody ever speeds even a little bit.

It's very sneaky the way these boxes have been put in use without consumers being told.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 05:27 PM
Now wait a minute, I read that ALL vehicles that have been made after 1993 are equipped with black boxes. Its a basic and integral part of the computer system that operates the car. If you have air bags, fuel injection or any other computer controlled system on your car, you have a black box.

I'll have to go find a link to this though.....bare with me

Love and light,


posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 06:18 PM

Spy on your kids, your spouse and your grandma!!!!!

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 08:02 PM
The boxes are on most everyone's cars, 93 or later... And they only record about the last 5 seconds of drive time. So, it's not like you will be responsible for the last 10 years of automotive activity. Granted there are "personal liberty" issues with it, but it is still being tested in courts as to whether or not they can be legally used as evidence.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 08:08 PM
Right now the boxes only records a few seconds of data but we already have tech to make these things record months of data. It would be very easy for them to do as well all they would have to do is plug in bigger memory. There is nothing stopping car companies from putting much longer memory in these boxes.

These boxes have already been used to convict people in court

IMHO this can turn into a very slippery slope on the privicy issue in the near future.

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 08:56 PM

Originally posted by esdad71
and ON-star. It is in all gm cars and luxury vehciles, even if it is not activated. Your vehicle can be stopped for 1000's of miles away.


Are you sure about this? Any links? Including Saturn?
What's the purpose?

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in