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Discussion Starter #1

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Most cars in production already have them.

I'm kind of torn on the issue. They do help the car companies make thier cars safer, and sometimes they can be used to put someone who deserves to be in jail, there.

However, they should have the option to be turn off if the car owner wishes. Its my car. Not thiers. If investigators need to get data from it, a warrent should be required (i forget if it currently is).
 

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A global-positioning-system device tracks vehicle location and can interpolate speed, acceleration, and deceleration by calculating changes in location over time.
No thanks. I'm alright not being tracked.

The box can send more than just a cry for help. Its signal can be packed with helpful data, such as the vehicle's exact longitude and latitude. So if the car was hit on the highway and skidded into oncoming traffic, emergency responders can adjust in advance.
I smell a slippery slope.

If this were to ever get adopted in the US, the first mod would either be a roll of tin foil (knocks out GPS) or a pair of wire clippers.
 

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hypnos. Yes many cars today have them. BUT you do NOT have to turn the data over.

In other words, if you drive at 120mph into a school bus, you don't have to turn over the black box. If it's mandatory you HAVE to turn it over and if it's been purposley disabled they could try to bust you for obstruction of justice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hypnos said:
Most cars in production already have them.

US cars have these? What makes? If my 'trep has one, it's well hid!! I've had it all apart and no sign of one!!
 

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If I remember correctly very basic ones started to get put in along with airbags to see if the airbags were working correctly.(Deploying at correct speeds/impact dirrections etc)
It's tiny, it's just a newton meter and a direction sensor..(not sure how they're called) basicaly it's a device that measures the force and the direction. (The most basic old kind is a small lead ball on a spring sitting on a plate. The location of the ball on the plate is recorded, if you push the thing to the right the ball will be on the left side of the plate and extend the spring relativley to the force of the push) I think Nissan used to put them in the OLD 350zs for the "coolness" factor the electronic dash used to display the gforces and direction...todays electronic sensors are tiny, the Segway is loaded with them.

I'm not 100% sure if US cars have them, nor am I sure how you'd find it. It'd just be a small pastic box and it could be anywhere. It's possible that if they really put in black boxes you'd have multiple sensors, for example to record the distribution of force through the car from a 45 degree angle impact into the rear right corner.

The "suggested" black boxes of the future, with the GPS would need some sort of line of sight to the sky. Which means either a small knob on the roof, the top of the dash, or under the rearwindshield. So you could track it through that, but as far as I know NO car built today for the US has a GPS system that uses the position of the car for any purpose other than route keeping etc. No GPS system that I know of "sends" signals anywhere.
 

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I think im kinda torn on the issue like hypnos. Sounds like it would be reasonable to know what went wrong in the case of an accident, and im sure it provides very valuable information for safety recalls and improvements.

but the thought of someone being able to tell when im speeding and where im going is just a little too invading for me. Sounds like it would sort of eliminate the need for trafiic cops. Not exactly at the top of my list for good ideas...
 

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Warlord187 said:
Doesn't OnStar use GPS???
Yes, OnStar uses GPS for vehicle tracking, however, it's outgoing communication is done via cellular technology. GPS is a 1-way system, satelite to you...
 

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Yes OnStar does use a very basic GPS system along with a cellphone. It does not have any complex maping system built in, all it does is send the location to OnStar if and only if you make a call to OnStar. The system does not continiously send info about your location. OnStar CAN request the info of your vehicle in case it has been stolen, the theif can also "foil" the system with a roll of regular foil as this will prevent the GPS signal with absolute efficiency. BTW Onstar is not free, its $17/m+, $35 or $70 depending on the level of service. For that ammount per month you're better off with a personal GPS ($800 and works forever)

Gaze, you are refering to the slippery slope I mentioned earleir. While it probably won't happen in our life time our kids might find themselves in a world where not only will they get tracked 24/7 but their car will automaticly set the governor to the speed limit of the road they are traveling on and automaticaly force them to slow/stop if a cop wants them to.
 

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Actually, OnStar can provide maps of where the car has traveled if requested by the owner. It also notifies OnStar if the airbags have deployed to send police and rescue to the accident site.

Also, most cars already record a lot of info other than positioning. Many cars will record maximum speeds, RPM levels and impact or cornering forces. Most has no time/date stamp but for warranty reasons the info can be brought up and used against you. For example you have a car with a manual transmission and you have blown the engine. The dealer can pull up info from the computer to determine if, how far and for how long the car has ever been run above redline. Because most don't store time/date info, it's really not useful in determining accident fault etc. though...
 

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I hope the world never comes to the point where we are tracked all the time. To me thats the biggest invasions of privacy ever. I would do everything possible to fight it. I bet that if you were smart you could beat the black box on some things, like dissconnecting the batttery for 30 minutes or whatever so it loses its memory maybe or something like that.
 

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Something about this screams "BIG BROTHER" if you ask me. In my opinion, its not a method for tracking accidents, but for tracking and locating where anyone is at any given point. Plus, as far as "tripping" the device; I bet that they're going to put some kind of a toggle into the device, preventing the operation of the car without the proper operation of the data tracker (black box). So if you ask me, I'd like to say **** NO to this idea.

-Duncan
 

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As far as I'm concered most of these concerns about the government tracking you by boxes in your car are unwarrented for now. For now I think it is just a subject the media likes to use to get sales because it is such a controversial issue. The technology exists now that such tracking, that the media suggests, is possible. But it is so conterversial I don't think it will happen for a long time. I believe more accident data recording will happen in the near future but not by GPS, unreliable as far as recieving a signal goes and costs too much. Also I don't think that tracking will become the slippery slope that many think it will become just because I think that there would be too much opposition in America to let it happen. I can't say that I know for sure how much opposition there is in America now, but judging from the opinion on this site and the media always down talking the tech, I've never seen the media try to advocate it, I would think that there is considerable opposition.
 
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