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State GPS Tracking You.........

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posted on Jan, 2 2003 @ 08:27 PM

" If a proposal by an Oregon State task force becomes law, the government would be able to use satellite equipment to keep track of each driver's mileage and tax that driver accordingly in order to pay for road repairs.".........

OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!! This is just INSANE!!!!!!!

posted on Jan, 3 2003 @ 12:06 AM
Take a deep breath.


Newsmax is the "National Enquirer" of the conspiracy world and the "task force" is a "study group" of about 5 people.

Speaking as a programmer and someone who does Geocaching ( with a GPS unit as a hobby, I can tell you that the idea is both stupid and unworkable. They've no clue what a GPS does or how it works or how big the database is. Or how they're going to deal with vehicles that DON'T have GPSs.

Tax on gas was the simplest, most elegant solution. No, I don't think we'll ever see that happening. The amount of data needing to be transferred would be just too big and it's SO easy to knock out a GPS. Just put a nice big magnet on top of it.

Don't get too worked up over NewsMax, eh?

posted on Jan, 3 2003 @ 08:24 AM
Okay... I should have explained this one better.

Why won't it work?

Welp, the satellites SEND data. They don't receive or collect it. In order to have them receive or collect data, they would have to be rebuilt and relaunched. There are 24 commercial satellites, and at several hundred million dollars per launch and years to retool, that's going to take some rethinking.

"Onstar" does exist, but they monitor only a few vehicles (comparatively speaking) and only when you turn it on. It's expensive because the manpower and equipment is expensive.

Who's going to pay to put all those units into cars and make sure they work and make sure they're accurate (GPS units do go bad, do misread data, and may need to be recalibrated after certain amounts of time)? Oregon State government? That ought to take a good 10 years and cost tens of billions of dollars... to collect less than a billion dollars in road use taxes.

What are they going to do in bad reception areas? If you drive downtown or through the mountains or in deep forest (lots of that around in Oregon), the satellites can't tag your GPS. This means that it shows you go in a "straight line" (as the crow flies) from one point to another. You may have traveled 60 miles on a winding road but if the reception isn't good, your GPS unit may show you going only 20 miles... or 10 miles!

What about out-of-state cars? They use the road. If you rely on GPS rather than gas, any car from out of state will not show up in your system. Furthermore, someone could go to California and buy a car and not have it show up as an Oregon car.


Somebody who knew nothing about GPS and how it works was having a brainstorm in public. The minute his idea hits a group of people who know something about GPS, he's going to get laughed at.

It can be done on a small scale... tracking cars in a vehicle fleet for a company. If it's important (like to prevent hijacking in a truck fleet), the cost of the savings can pay for the cost of the tracking in a single company. Buying and monitoring and upgrading tech is easy if you're dealing with 5 vehicles. It's not much of a pain if you've got 500 vehicles. With a big enough company, you can do several thousand vehicles.

But millions of cars? No. Too expensive for what they'd get out of it.


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