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scientists have been trying to come up with devices that, using global positioning systems, measure the miles a car drives and stores it securely in a computer. A test of such a system in Oregon a couple of years ago showed some promise, and has now spurred a broader experiment.
The federal government is about to initiate a study of such devices in six places, including the five-county Austin area. Central Texas volunteers, 200 this year and 200 more next year, would drive around for eight months with the computers installed. Complete the study and you would get $895
The University of Iowa researchers behind the study are taking applications starting today and running through Nov. 3. The “winners,” as it were, would be notified by Nov. 14 and have the devices installed in their cars by the end of the year. You must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and living in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis or Williamson counties.
To volunteer and be screened, go to www.RoadUserStudy.org or call toll free at 1-866-363-1975.
Instead of requiring the consumer to buy a $225 device, the state could add a $225 tax to every new car sold, thus having the money flow to the State and not to the GPS manufacturer.