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'Black box' standards coming for cars

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June 21, 2017, 05:50:35 pm Romans 8 says: Mark, I don't want to flood your pm box. But just wanted to say I emailed bro Scott about this issue.
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Author Topic: 'Black box' standards coming for cars  (Read 1172 times)
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« on: August 14, 2012, 01:31:40 pm »

'Black box' standards coming for cars

New federal standards for "black boxes" that record information leading up to auto accidents will will take effect Sept. 1, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ruled on Tuesday.

The decision means the new standards for the devices will not be delayed by one year, as automakers had requested.

The federal standards will apply only to cars that are voluntarily outfitted with event data recorders (EDRs), also known as black boxes. But while the government does not yet require all cars to have black boxes installed, NHTSA is still thought to be considering a federal mandate as a next step, possibly this year.

NHTSA standards for black boxes were proposed in 2006, but have been delayed since then. In 2009, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers suggested a delay to Sept. 1, 2013, arguing that this would give auto companies more time to work with original equipment manufacturers to ensure the standard can be met.


http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/243529-nhtsa-says-black-box-standards-for-autos-will-take-effect-september-1
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 01:31:56 pm »

VEHICLE "BLACK BOX" DATA RETRIEVAL EQUIPMENT

Having access to the “Black Box” data from each vehicle involved in an accident is critical when you are evaluating vehicle accident cases.  These devices are installed on the majority of vehicles produced today and in many vehicles dating back to around 1994.  Most vehicle dealerships and repair centers do not have the computer software or the experience that is required to download all of this critical data and many do not even know that this data exists.  Bloomberg Consulting has acquired and is experienced in using all of the computer software that is commercially available to download this “Black Box” data from passenger vehicles (cars, pickups, SUV’s, etc), tractor-trailers, and heavy trucks.

 

Passenger Vehicles

Critical information that may be downloaded includes Vehicle Speed, Delta-V, Brake On/Off, Percent Throttle, Seatbelt Use, Engine Speed, etc.  Some of this information is available for a full five seconds prior to impact.  Vehicle makes currently covered include the following, with more available in early 2006:

Chevrolet
 Buick
 Cadillac
 GMC
 Hummer
 Pontiac
 
Ford
 Saturn
 Lincoln
 Mercury
 Isuzu
 Saab
 
http://www.bloombergconsulting.com/Black%20Box%20Data%20Retrieval.htm
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 01:32:38 pm »

Found this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnStar#cite_note-4

Critics raise questions about whether police or others could make use of OnStar's tracking, whether legally or illegally, for surveillance or stalking. Privacy advocates worry that innocent citizens may be hassled by the authorities due to false alarms. At least one group, OnStar Privacy, has dedicated a website to privacy concerns of the service.[citation needed]

"The Truth About Cars" wrote that "OnStar's computer knows where you were, when you were there, and how fast you went. It knows if and when you applied the brakes, if and when the air bags deployed, and what speed you were going at the time. It knows if and when your car was serviced. OnStar operators can determine if you have a passenger in the front seat (airbag detection). ... under certain conditions, OnStar can switch on your GM car's microphone remotely and record any and all sounds within the vehicle (i.e. conversations)."[8]

Concerns have also been raised about what could be done with the data collected and stored by a vehicle's MVEDR, which is analogous to the "black box" recorder on airplanes, although an MVEDR is not as sophisticated and does not currently function as a digital audio recorder. For example, privacy advocates worry that auto dealers could use data to suggest that the user engaged in reckless driving and therefore violated the terms of the vehicle’s warranty, or insurance companies could use said data as the basis for denying claims.

Voice-monitoring capability is marketed as OnStar Hands-Free Calling.[9] The use of this type of capability by law enforcement is subject to legal debate and some technical impediments.[10] OnStar maintains that it is unable to "listen to, view, or record the content of calls".[11] However, a 2003 lawsuit revealed that systems such as OnStar can be used for eavesdropping on passenger conversations.[12]
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 01:33:32 pm »

E-tracking may change the way you drive

Commentary--Trust federal bureaucrats to take a good idea and transform it into a frightening proposal to track Americans wherever they drive.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has been handing millions of dollars to state governments for GPS-tracking pilot projects designed to track vehicles wherever they go. So far, Washington state and Oregon have received fat federal checks to figure out how to levy these "mileage-based road user fees."

Now electronic tracking and taxing may be coming to a DMV near you. The Office of Transportation Policy Studies, part of the Federal Highway Administration, is about to announce another round of grants totaling some $11 million. A spokeswoman on Friday said the office is "shooting for the end of the year" for the announcement, and more money is expected for GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking efforts.

In principle, the idea of what bureaucrats like to call "value pricing" for cars makes sound economic sense.

No policy bans police from automatically sending out speeding tickets based on what the GPS data say. Airlines and hotels have long charged less for off-peak use. Toll roads would be more efficient--in particular, less congested--if they could follow the same model and charge virtually nothing in the middle of the night but high prices during rush hour.

That price structure would encourage drivers to take public transportation, use alternate routes, or leave earlier or later in the day.

The problem, though, is that these "road user fee" systems are being designed and built in a way that strips drivers of their privacy and invites constant surveillance by police, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Zero privacy protections
Details of the tracking systems vary. But the general idea is that a small GPS device, which knows its location by receiving satellite signals, is placed inside the vehicle.

Some GPS trackers constantly communicate their location back to the state DMV, while others record the location information for later retrieval. (In the Oregon pilot project, it's beamed out wirelessly when the driver pulls into a gas station.)

The problem, though, is that no privacy protections exist. No restrictions prevent police from continually monitoring, without a court order, the whereabouts of every vehicle on the road.

No rule prohibits that massive database of GPS trails from being subpoenaed by curious divorce attorneys, or handed to insurance companies that might raise rates for someone who spent too much time at a neighborhood bar. No policy bans police from automatically sending out speeding tickets based on what the GPS data say.

The Fourth Amendment provides no protection. The U.S. Supreme Court said in two cases, U.S. v. Knotts and U.S. v. Karo, that Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy when they're driving on a public street.

The PR offensive
Even more shocking are additional ideas that bureaucrats are hatching. A report prepared by a Transportation Department-funded program in Washington state says the GPS bugs must be made "tamper proof" and the vehicle should be disabled if the bugs are disconnected.

"This can be achieved by building in connections to the vehicle ignition circuit so that failure to receive a moving GPS signal after some default period of vehicle operation indicates attempts to defeat the GPS antenna," the report says.

It doesn't mention the worrisome scenario of someone driving a vehicle with a broken GPS bug--and an engine that suddenly quits half an hour later. But it does outline a public relations strategy (with "press releases and/or editorials" at a "very early stage") to persuade the American public that this kind of contraption would be, contrary to common sense, in their best interest.

One study prepared for the Transportation Department predicts a PR success. "Less than 7 percent of the respondents expressed concerns about recording their vehicle's movements," it says.

That whiff of victory, coupled with a windfall of new GPS-enabled tax dollars, has emboldened DMV bureaucrats. A proposal from the Oregon DMV, also funded by the Transportation Department, says that such a tracking system should be mandatory for all "newly purchased vehicles and newly registered vehicles."

The sad reality is that there are ways to perform "value pricing" for roads while preserving anonymity. You could pay cash for prepaid travel cards, like store gift cards, that would be debited when read by roadside sensors. Computer scientists have long known how to create electronic wallets--using a technique called blind signatures--that can be debited without privacy concerns.

The Transportation Department could require privacy-protective features when handing out grants for pilot projects that may eventually become mandatory. It's now even more important because a new U.S. law ups the size of the grants; the U.K. is planning GPS tracking and per-mile fees ranging between 3 cents and $2.

We'll see. But given the privacy hostility that the Transportation Department and state DMVs have demonstrated so far, don't be too optimistic.

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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 01:34:15 pm »

Snooping by satellite

When Robert Moran drove back to his law offices in Rome, N.Y., after a plane trip to Arizona in July 2003, he had no idea that a silent stowaway was aboard his vehicle: a secret GPS bug implanted without a court order by state police.
Police suspected the lawyer of ties to a local Hells Angels Motorcycle Club that was selling methamphetamine, and they feared undercover officers would not be able to infiltrate the notoriously tight-knit group, which has hazing rituals that involve criminal activities. So investigators stuck a GPS, or Global Positioning System, bug on Moran's car, watched his movements, and arrested him on drug charges a month later.

A federal judge in New York ruled last week that police did not need court authorization when tracking Moran from afar. "Law enforcement personnel could have conducted a visual surveillance of the vehicle as it traveled on the public highways," U.S. District Judge David Hurd wrote. "Moran had no expectation of privacy in the whereabouts of his vehicle on a public roadway."

Police agencies are making inroads in using GPS technology to track suspects--without getting court approval first.
Bottom line:
 As more courts side with police over privacy, critics say GPS can reveal too much and should require strict judicial oversight.

Last week's court decision is the latest to grapple with the slippery subject of how to reconcile traditional notions of privacy and autonomy with increasingly powerful surveillance technology. Once relegated, because of their cost, to the realm of what spy agencies could afford, GPS tracking devices now are readily available to jealous spouses, private investigators and local police departments for just a few hundred dollars.

Not all uses are controversial. Trucking outfits use GPS boxes to keep track of their drivers' locations, and companies sell software to dispatchers that instantly calculates which taxi is closest to a customer. OnStar uses GPS tracking to provide roadside assistance to owners of many General Motors vehicles.

What's raising eyebrows, though, is the increasingly popular law enforcement practice of secretly tagging Americans' vehicles without adhering to the procedural safeguards and judicial oversight that protect the privacy of homes and telephone conversations from police abuses.

"I think they should get court orders," said Lee Tien, staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "We're in a world where more and more of our activities can be viewed in public and, perhaps more importantly, be correlated and linked together."

"We're in a world where more and more of our activities can be viewed in public and...be correlated and linked together."
--Lee Tien, staff counsel, EFFGPS devices work by listening for radio signals from satellites and calculating how long the signals take to arrive.

The result of that calculation provides a highly accurate estimation of latitude and longitude. Depending on the type of GPS tracker, that information is beamed back to an eavesdropper's computer through the cellular network or quietly recorded and divulged when the device is retrieved a few days or weeks later.

Voluntarily agreeing to automotive GPS tracking can be a bargain for some consumers. Progressive Casualty Insurance began a pilot project in Minnesota last year that embeds GPS devices in a customers' vehicles and offers insurance discounts based on where and when cars are driven.

Norwich Union, the United Kingdom's largest auto insurer, has experimented with a similar "pay as you drive" program involving 5,000 customers. Hertz has implanted GPS trackers in all of its rental cars, and trucking companies have used similar systems for years.

"If something's not totally secret, you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy."
--Dan Solove, law professor,
George Washington UniversityGPS tracking systems are becoming cheap enough--the prices have dropped by about 50 percent in the last few years--that they've become attractive methods for tracing the whereabouts of teenagers and spouses. In 2003, South Carolina police thought they had discovered a bomb under a vehicle, but it turned out to be a GPS bug planted by a man's wife. In another case, a man in Colorado was convicted of tracking his wife with a GPS bug after she began divorce proceedings against him.

Solving crimes
GPS devices have been used to solve crimes from the petty to the heinous. Massachusetts police recently nabbed the driver of a snow removal truck who exposed himself at a Dunkin' Donuts, thanks to the Massachusetts Highway Department's requirement that state contractors outfit their trucks with GPS locators.

In 2000, when William Bradley Jackson called Spokane County, Wash., police to report that his daughter had vanished from the front yard that morning, detectives were immediately suspicious. Jackson seemed unusually nervous, and blood stains were discovered on his daughter's sheets.

Eight days later, after desperate searches failed to locate 9-year-old Valiree, detectives won court approval to secretly attach GPS tracking devices to Jackson's two vehicles.

The tactic worked; the GPS bugs led police to Valiree's shallow grave in a remote, dense forest about 50 miles from Spokane. The case ended in a murder conviction and 56-year prison sentence.

Complicating the privacy risks of tattletale cars is a pair of U.S. Supreme Court cases decided two decades ago. Those cases, U.S. v. Knotts and U.S. v. Karo, established that police don't need court approval to track suspects through a crude radio beeper.

In 1999, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals invoked that logic when deciding that federal agents did not need a court order to slap a GPS tracker on a truck owned by a man suspected of growing marijuana. "In placing the electronic devices on the undercarriage of the Toyota 4Runner, the officers did not pry into a hidden or enclosed area," the court ruled, saying the bug did not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Privacy intrusion?
A handful of courts have veered in the other direction, saying GPS technology is so powerful and can reveal so much about a person's life that it requires strict judicial oversight.

The "use of GPS tracking devices is a particularly intrusive method of surveillance, making it possible to acquire an enormous amount of personal information about the citizen under circumstances where the individual is unaware that every single vehicle trip taken and the duration of every single stop may be recorded by the government," the Washington Supreme Court said in the Jackson murder case in September 2003. "Citizens of this state have a right to be free from the type of governmental intrusion that occurs when a GPS device is attached to a citizen's vehicle...A warrant is required for installation of these devices."
 
Some legal scholars fear that when the U.S. Supreme Court eventually weighs in on GPS tracking, it will side with police over privacy. "Unless it changes its view, it's unlikely that the court will think the same way as the Washington Supreme Court," said Dan Solove, a law professor at George Washington University. "The court has a very narrow and crabbed understanding of privacy. If something's not totally secret, you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy."

GPS tracking--even when bugs are installed by police armed with a court order--can be imperfect. One bug used by police to track convicted murderer Scott Peterson sometimes developed glitches that showed him driving at about 30,000 miles per hour. Judge Alfred Delucchi ruled the data could be admitted during Peterson's trial, which appears to have been the first such decision in California.

Even with the occasional glitches, police see great potential in GPS tracking systems, like OnStar, that are built into more expensive cars--and that most people believe will be activated only in emergencies. In one North Carolina case, police used the built-in OnStar system in a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban truck to locate it and arrest the driver, who had bought it with a fake certified check.

An even more creative method of vehicle tracking arose when the FBI used such a system for audio eavesdropping. OnStar and other remote assistance products permit passengers to call an operator for help in an emergency. The FBI realized the feature could be useful for bugging a vehicle and remotely activated it to eavesdrop on what passengers were saying. (The 9th Circuit shot down that scheme in 2003, on the grounds that it rendered the system useless in emergencies.)
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 01:34:27 pm »

U.S. to propose mandatory vehicle 'black boxes'

The U.S. Transportation Department said today it will propose making vehicle "black boxes" mandatory in all vehicles by the end of the year.

The department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has long considered whether to make black boxes, officially called event data recorders, or EDRs, mandatory. They collect data about the seconds leading up to a crash and can help investigators determine the cause.

Last year, Congress considered requiring EDRs in all vehicles. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told Congress the agency was studying the issue.

The plan was included in a 197-page Transportation Department regulatory reform proposal released by the White House this morning.

"NHTSA plans to propose mandatory EDRs in all passenger vehicles in 2011," the Transportation Department said in the report.

In a separate agency document posted on its website, NHTSA said it is also working on a proposal "for future enhancements to (EDRs) capabilities and applicability."

But the agency said it hasn't decided whether to require EDRs in heavy-duty vehicles.

Most automobiles already have the devices. NHTSA estimated that about 64 percent of 2005 model passenger vehicles had the devices. Many major automakers already include them all vehicles, including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Co.

In August 2006, NHTSA issued a rule setting standards for EDR data collection.

The rule, which takes effect in the 2013 model year, standardizes the information EDRs collect and makes retrieving the data easier. Devices must record 15 data elements, including vehicle deceleration, in specific formats.

Different automakers collect different data. In 2009, not all Toyota EDRs recorded both pre- and post-crash data. By the end of last year, all Toyota and Lexus vehicles included EDRs that can record both.

In May 2010, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the trade association GM, Ford, Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota and eight other automakers, endorsed making EDRs mandatory in all vehicles, but expressed concerns that some in Congress wanted more elaborate and expensive ones than are available.

The devices have been in use for about 20 years.

GM began widely installing the predecessor version of today's event data recorders in vehicles in the 1990 model year, and they became standard equipment in light duty vehicles in the 1995 model year.



From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110526/AUTO01/105260436/U.S.-to-propose-mandatory-vehicle-‘black-boxes’#ixzz1NY6tusWZ
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 01:48:08 pm »

Quote
A federal judge in New York ruled last week that police did not need court authorization when tracking Moran from afar. "Law enforcement personnel could have conducted a visual surveillance of the vehicle as it traveled on the public highways," U.S. District Judge David Hurd wrote. "Moran had no expectation of privacy in the whereabouts of his vehicle on a public roadway."

That is the bottom line. He was operating a motor vehicle on public roadways, meaning when he got his license and car registered, he agreed to the laws of the publiclly-owned roads. A legal "Gotcha!". If you want to operate a motor vehicle on "public roads" in the US, you must abide by THEIR rules, like it nor not. And in their rules, they deem public roadways as been just that, public, and in full view of the public. (which begs the question how cops can demand no cameras in PULBIC Roll Eyes)

So really, it's not about privacy at all when operating a motor vehicle on their roads. They don't need a warrant to observe your vehicle on their roadways. It's public, right? So they reason, and the courts agree, a GPS device is the same as sitting on the roadside with binoculars watching cars go by. The key is that it is their roads. And it's the government rulling in favor of government, again.
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 09:58:35 am »

Black boxes in cars raise privacy concerns

Many motorists don't know it, but it's likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there's a snitch along for the ride.

In the next few days, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recorders - better known as "black boxes" - in all new cars and light trucks. But the agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.

When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle's sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That's usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on.

The idea is to gather information that can help investigators determine the cause of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.

Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn't speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria's data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn't belted in.

In 2007, then-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in the crash of an SUV driven by a state trooper. Corzine was a passenger. The SUV's recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 91 mph on a parkway where the speed limit was 65 mph, and Corzine didn't have his seat belt on.

There's no opt-out. It's extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner's manuals didn't go into effect until three months ago. Automakers who voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data.

Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data such as whether the vehicle's electronic stability control was engaged, the driver's seat position or whether the front-seat passenger was belted in. Some manufacturers already are collecting the information. Engineers have identified more than 80 data points that might be useful.

Despite privacy complaints, the traffic safety administration so far hasn't put any limits on how the information can be used. About a dozen states have some law regarding data recorders, but the rest do not.

"Right now we're in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency," said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. "Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle."

Part of the concern is that the increasing computerization of cars and the growing transmission of data to and from vehicles could lead to unintended uses of recorder data.

"Basically your car is a computer now, so it can record all kinds of information," said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. "It's a lot of the same issues you have about your computer or your smartphone and whether Google or someone else has access to the data."

The alliance opposes the government requiring recorders in all vehicles.

Data recorders "help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, and we already have put them on over 90 percent of (new) vehicles without any mandate being necessary," Bergquist said.

Safety advocates, however, say requiring data recorders in all cars is the best way to gather a large enough body of reliable information to enable vehicle designers to make safer automobiles.

"The barn door is already open. It's a question of whether we use the information that's already out there," said Henry Jasny, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Automotive Safety.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for recorders in all passenger vehicles since the board's investigation of a 2003 accident in which an elderly driver plowed through an open-air market in Santa Monica, Calif. Ten people were killed and 63 were injured. The driver refused to be interviewed and his 1992 Buick LeSabre didn't have a recorder. After ruling out other possibilities, investigators ultimately guessed that he had either mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal or had stepped on the gas and the brake pedals at the same time.

When reports of sudden acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles cascaded in 2009 and 2010, recorder data from some of the vehicles contributed to the traffic safety administration's conclusion that the problem was probably sticky gas pedals and floor mats that could jam them, not defects in electronic throttle control systems.

"Black box" is a mechanic's term for a part that should only be opened by someone with authority to do so. The term is most widely used to refer to flight data recorders, which continually gather hundreds of data points about an aircraft's operation during flight. Aircraft recorders, by law, are actually bright orange.

Some automakers began installing the recorders at a time when there were complaints that air bags might be causing deaths and injuries, partly to protect themselves against liability and partly to improve air bag technology. Most recorders are black boxes about the size of a deck of card with circuit boards inside. After an accident, information is downloaded to a laptop computer using a tool unique to the vehicle's manufacturer. As electronics in cars have increased, the kinds of data that can be recorded have grown as well. Some more recent recorders are part of the vehicle's computers rather than a separate device.

Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., has repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, introduced legislation to require that automakers design recorders so that they can be disabled by motorists

A transportation bill passed by the Senate earlier this year would have required that all new cars and light trucks have recorders and designated a vehicle's owner as the owner of the data. The provision was removed during House-Senate negotiations on the measure at the behest of House Republican lawmakers who said they were concerned about privacy.

"Many of us would see it as a slippery slope toward big government and Big Brother knowing what we're doing and where we are," Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., who is slated to take over the chairmanship of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in January, said at the time. "Privacy is a big concern for many across America."



Read more: http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/20286045/black-boxes-in-cars-raise-privacy-concerns#ixzz2ENlYkoJZ
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 04:04:11 pm »

I had a BIG thread on this stuff at PPF, to bad...

Lawmakers Propose Bar Codes And RFID Transponders For Car Plates

Some drivers are enjoying a free ride through automatic tolls in Virginia, but budget-conscious lawmakers in Richmond may be eager to close the gap.

A 76-page study on license plates, prepared by the Department of Motor Vehicles, was provided to legislators Monday.

The study found that toll cameras can fail to read a variety of license plates. Problem plates for the cameras include some personalized license plates, older, worn plates, plates that are framed or covered in plastic and plates splashed with mud or obscured by trailer hitches.

The study estimates the Commonwealth loses between $65,446.73 and $70,474.73 each year from unreadable plates.

Lawmakers are being offered a number of ideas and recommendations to improve automatic toll collection.

The Department of Motor Vehicles suggests that all new plate designs be tested by toll cameras before being approved.

Lawmakers are learning that license plate manufacturers are developing bar codes for plates that could improve their readability by toll cameras. Another possibility is the use of radio frequency identification -- transponders that could be embedded into license plates.

http://wtop.com/120/3152674/Worn-dirty-plates-dodge-Va-toll-cameras
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 03:22:49 am »

Yep, RFID license plates. Knew it was coming. And is part of why my driving days are numbered. Once they decide I need a new driver's license, I'm done. I don't own a car anymore, sold it. So we are down to the wife's truck. "Thy will be done..."
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 09:11:04 pm »

http://theintelhub.com/2013/02/13/a-black-box-in-every-car-to-make-you-safer/

2/13/13

Feds Set To Mandate “Black Box” Data Recorders In Every Car And Truck … Privacy advocates worry, but technology has caught bad drivers lying about accident causes … Accident investigators will soon have black-box data from all crashes, because of a new rule set to be finalized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration … Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride. … This week ended the public comment period on a proposed law that would put so-called black boxes in every new car sold by September 1, 2014. The thing is, most cars already have them unbeknownst to many drivers. – AP
 
Dominant Social Theme: The government intends to make you safer, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
 
Free-Market Analysis: We’ve known this was coming but we are still surprised that the plans proceed – and that the rationale remains the same
.
 
What articles like this show clearly is that wire services like AP are content with sticking with a general theme that governments are “here to help” and that the intrusiveness of government and demolition of privacy is less important than saving lives.
 
A subdominant social theme would be that industry and government working together can make a difference. But this, in fact, is an invitation to more authoritarianism rather than less.
 
Private public partnerships are always going to yield to mercantilism in which government is used by some powerful private powers to advance their agendas over others.
 
In this case, the private party is, generally speaking, a tiny power elite that wants to implement world government and is continually launching initiatives to generate the required result.
 
The middle class is usually targeted, as they stand in the way of the kinds of society-reshaping that elites desire. For this reason, middle class behavior often comes under attack, with the powers-that-be seeking to control it in order to further extend dominance over society. This obviously involves transportation, as well. Here’s more from the article:
 
Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.

When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle’s sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That’s usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on. This data has been used recently, for example, to determine what was happening in cars before accidents when some Toyota owners were claiming their cars were accelerating out of control as they were driving.
 
The idea behind mandating black box data recorders is to gather information that can help investigators determine the causes of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.

… There’s no opt-out. It’s extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner’s manuals didn’t go into effect until three months ago. Automakers that voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data.
 
Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data … “Right now we’re in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle.”
 
In the modern era, especially, Western governments have become far more intrusive about monitoring citizen actions. What “good government” types constantly offer as the solution is “transparency.” But it is questionable in an increasingly authoritarian regime how much good transparency can do if the citizen has no real power to alleviate a miscarriage of justice.
 
Transparency is, in fact, being floated by top elites themselves as an antidote to government abuses. A top executive formerly with the World Bank heads the leading, global, good-government “transparency” organization. It is questionable how much good government transparency really will do when it comes to reining in government privacy abuses. More than that, the larger conversation is based on incorrect assumptions.
 
Western governments, and especially the US government, are assumed to be implementing various programs to “save lives.” But when one looks at the US, for instance, what stands out most glaringly is the criminal justice system and its associated military-industrial complex.
 
The US is damaging entire generations with its incarceration policies that include over six million citizens at any one time. Entire generations grow up crippled as a result of an absent parent or a shattered family and the resultant lack of income.
 
Abroad, the US military seems to be employed primarily at the behest of a power elite that is continually using force to centralize various regions and nation-states. Within this context, we would submit that the real reason to place black boxes in cars is to further track and constrain individual citizens and has little to do with “safety concerns.”
 
We’ve made the same point about electric cars that Western governments are relentlessly promoting. In fact, electric cars surely do not have a lesser impact on the environment just because they plug in at night. However, what is doubtless appealing to those who seek to control middle-class access to transportation is that such cars tend (currently anyway) to have fairly restricted speeds and travel capacities.
 
Conclusion: Given the vastness of the US government’s attempt to track and obtain data on its citizens – and citizens outside the country, as well – the idea that these black boxes are being installed simply to create a safer driving environment seems doubtful at best.
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2013, 06:31:53 am »

A Black Box for Car Crashes

When Timothy P. Murray crashed his government-issued Ford Crown Victoria in 2011, he was fortunate, as car accidents go. Mr. Murray, then the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, was not seriously hurt, and he told the police he was wearing a seat belt and was not speeding.

 But a different story soon emerged. Mr. Murray was driving over 100 miles an hour and was not wearing a seat belt, according to the computer in his car that tracks certain actions. He was given a $555 ticket; he later said he had fallen asleep.

The case put Mr. Murray at the center of a growing debate over a little-known but increasingly important piece of equipment buried deep inside a car: the event data recorder, more commonly known as the black box.

About 96 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States have the boxes, and in September 2014, if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its way, all will have them.

The boxes have long been used by car companies to assess the performance of their vehicles. But data stored in the devices is increasingly being used to identify safety problems in cars and as evidence in traffic accidents and criminal cases. And the trove of data inside the boxes has raised privacy concerns, including questions about who owns the information, and what it can be used for, even as critics have raised questions about its reliability.

To federal regulators, law enforcement authorities and insurance companies, the data is an indispensable tool to investigate crashes.

The black boxes “provide critical safety information that might not otherwise be available to N.H.T.S.A. to evaluate what happened during a crash — and what future steps could be taken to save lives and prevent injuries,” David L. Strickland, the safety agency’s administrator, said in a statement.

But to consumer advocates, the data is only the latest example of governments and companies having too much access to private information. Once gathered, they say, the data can be used against car owners, to find fault in accidents or in criminal investigations.

“These cars are equipped with computers that collect massive amounts of data,” said Khaliah Barnes of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based consumer group. “Without protections, it can lead to all kinds of abuse.”

What’s more, consumer advocates say, government officials have yet to provide consistent guidelines on how the data should be used.

“There are no clear standards that say, this is a permissible use of the data and this is not,” Ms. Barnes said.

Fourteen states, including New York, have passed laws that say that, even though the data belongs to the vehicle’s owner, law enforcement officials and those involved in civil litigation can gain access to the black boxes with a court order.

In these states, lawyers may subpoena the data for criminal investigations and civil lawsuits, making the information accessible to third parties, including law enforcement or insurance companies that could cancel a driver’s policy or raise a driver’s premium based on the recorder’s data.

In Mr. Murray’s case, a court order was not required to release the data to investigators. Massachusetts is not among the states to pass a law governing access to the data. Asked about the case, Mr. Murray, who did not contest the ticket and who resigned as lieutenant governor in June to become head of the Chamber of Commerce in Worcester, Mass., declined to comment.

Current regulations require that the presence of the black box be disclosed in the owner’s manual. But the vast majority of drivers who do not read the manual thoroughly may not know that their vehicle can capture and record their speed, brake position, seat belt use and other data each time they get behind the wheel.

Unlike the black boxes on airplanes, which continually record data including audio and system performance, the cars’ recorders capture only the few seconds surrounding a crash or air bag deployment. A separate device extracts the data, which is then analyzed through computer software.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a Washington-based trade association that represents 12 automakers including General Motors and Chrysler, said it supported the mandate because the recorders helped to monitor passenger safety.

“Event data recorders help our engineers and researchers understand how cars perform in the real world, and one of our priorities for E.D.R.’s continues to be preserving consumer privacy,” said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the trade association. “Automakers don’t access E.D.R. data without consumer permission, and we believe that any government requirements to install E.D.R.’s on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy.”

Beyond the privacy concerns, though, critics have questioned the data’s reliability.

In 2009, Anthony Niemeyer died after crashing a rented Ford Focus in Las Vegas. His widow, Kathryn, sued both Ford Motor and Hertz, contending that the air bag system failed to deploy.

The black box, however, derailed Ms. Niemeyer’s assertion that her husband had been traveling fast enough for the air bag to deploy.

 Though Ms. Niemeyer lost the suit last year, her lawyer, Daniel T. Ryan of St. Louis, was successful in excluding the black box data as evidence on the grounds that the device is not fully reliable. The judge in the case ruled that because an engineer working on behalf of the defense retrieved the data, the plaintiffs, who maintained there were errors, had no way to independently verify it.

“It’s data that has not been shown to be absolutely reliable,” Mr. Ryan said. “It’s not black and white.”

The origins of black boxes, which are the size of about two decks of cards and are situated under the center console, date to the 1990 model year, when General Motors introduced them to conduct quality studies. Since then, their use and the scope of the data they collect has expanded.

The lack of standardization among manufacturers has made it difficult to extract the data, most notably during the investigations into the crashes caused by sudden, unintended acceleration in some Toyota vehicles.

Until recently, crash investigators needed an automaker’s proprietary reader as well as the expertise to analyze the data. The safety administration’s regulations will help enable universal access to the data by using a commercially available tool. At the same time, police departments are receiving training on the new regulations. In Romulus, N.Y., last week, the Collision Safety Institute, a consultancy in San Diego, helped teach New York State Police investigators how to read the devices.

But privacy advocates have expressed concern that the data collected will only grow to include a wider time frame and other elements like GPS and location-based services.

“The rabbit hole goes very deep when talking about this stuff,” said Thomas Kowalick, an expert in event data recorders and a former co-chairman of the federal committee that set the standard for black boxes.

Today, the boxes have spawned a cottage industry for YouTube videos on how to expunge the data. And Mr. Kowalick, seeing an opportunity, invented a device that safeguards access to in-vehicle electronics networks. It is controlled by the vehicle’s owner with a key and is useful in the event of theft, he said.

“For most of the 100-year history of the car, it used to be ‘he said, she said,’ ” Mr. Kowalick said. “That’s no longer going to be the way.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/business/black-boxes-in-cars-a-question-of-privacy.html?_r=0
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 04:50:09 pm »

A black box in your car? Some see a source of tax revenue

The devices would track every mile you drive —possibly including your location — and the government would use the data to draw up a tax bill.


As America's road planners struggle to find the cash to mend a crumbling highway system, many are beginning to see a solution in a little black box that fits neatly by the dashboard of your car.


The devices, which track every mile a motorist drives and transmit that information to bureaucrats, are at the center of a controversial attempt in Washington and state planning offices to overhaul the outdated system for funding America's major roads.
 
The usually dull arena of highway planning has suddenly spawned intense debate and colorful alliances. Libertarians have joined environmental groups in lobbying to allow government to use the little boxes to keep track of the miles you drive, and possibly where you drive them — then use the information to draw up a tax bill.
 
The tea party is aghast. The American Civil Liberties Union is deeply concerned, too, raising a variety of privacy issues.
 
And while Congress can't agree on whether to proceed, several states are not waiting. They are exploring how, over the next decade, they can move to a system in which drivers pay per mile of road they roll over. Thousands of motorists have already taken the black boxes, some of which have GPS monitoring, for a test drive.
 
"This really is a must for our nation. It is not a matter of something we might choose to do," said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Assn. of Governments, which is planning for the state to start tracking miles driven by every California motorist by 2025. "There is going to be a change in how we pay these taxes. The technology is there to do it."
 
The push comes as the country's Highway Trust Fund, financed with taxes Americans pay at the gas pump, is broke. Americans don't buy as much gas as they used to. Cars get many more miles to the gallon. The federal tax itself, 18.4 cents per gallon, hasn't gone up in 20 years. Politicians are loath to raise the tax even one penny when gas prices are high.
 
"The gas tax is just not sustainable," said Lee Munnich, a transportation policy expert at the University of Minnesota. His state recently put tracking devices on 500 cars to test out a pay-by-mile system. "This works out as the most logical alternative over the long term," he said.
 
Wonks call it a mileage-based user fee. It is no surprise that the idea appeals to urban liberals, as the taxes could be rigged to change driving patterns in ways that could help reduce congestion and greenhouse gases, for example. California planners are looking to the system as they devise strategies to meet the goals laid out in the state's ambitious global warming laws. But Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has said he, too, sees it as the most viable long-term alternative. The free marketeers at the Reason Foundation are also fond of having drivers pay per mile.
 
"This is not just a tax going into a black hole," said Adrian Moore, vice president of policy at Reason. "People are paying more directly into what they are getting."
 
The movement is also bolstered by two former U.S. Transportation secretaries, who in a 2011 report urged Congress to move in the pay-per-mile direction.
 
The U.S. Senate approved a $90-million pilot project last year that would have involved about 10,000 cars. But the House leadership killed the proposal, acting on concerns of rural lawmakers representing constituents whose daily lives often involve logging lots of miles to get to work or into town.
 
Several states and cities are nonetheless moving ahead on their own. The most eager is Oregon, which is enlisting 5,000 drivers in the country's biggest experiment. Those drivers will soon pay the mileage fees instead of gas taxes to the state. Nevada has already completed a pilot. New York City is looking into one. Illinois is trying it on a limited basis with trucks. And the I-95 Coalition, which includes 17 state transportation departments along the Eastern Seaboard (including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida), is studying how they could go about implementing the change.
 
The concept is not a universal hit.
 
In Nevada, where about 50 volunteers' cars were equipped with the devices not long ago, drivers were uneasy about the government being able to monitor their every move.
 
"Concerns about Big Brother and those sorts of things were a major problem," said Alauddin Khan, who directs strategic and performance management at the Nevada Department of Transportation. "It was not something people wanted."
 
As the trial got underway, the ACLU of Nevada warned on its website: "It would be fairly easy to turn these devices into full-fledged tracking devices.... There is no need to build an enormous, unwieldy technological infrastructure that will inevitably be expanded to keep records of individuals' everyday comings and goings."
 
Nevada is among several states now scrambling to find affordable technology that would allow the state to keep track of how many miles a car is being driven, but not exactly where and at what time. If you can do that, Khan said, the public gets more comfortable.
 
The hunt for that technology has led some state agencies to a small California startup called True Mileage. The firm was not originally in the business of helping states tax drivers. It was seeking to break into an emerging market in auto insurance, in which drivers would pay based on their mileage. But the devices it is testing appeal to highway planners because they don't use GPS and deliver a limited amount of information, uploaded periodically by modem.
 
"People will be more willing to do this if you do not track their speed and you do not track their location," said Ryan Morrison, chief executive of True Mileage. "There have been some big mistakes in some of these state pilot programs. There are a lot less expensive and less intrusive ways to do this."
 
In Oregon, planners are experimenting with giving drivers different choices. They can choose a device with or without GPS. Or they can choose not to have a device at all, opting instead to pay a flat fee based on the average number of miles driven by all state residents.
 
Other places are hoping to sell the concept to a wary public by having the devices do more, not less. In New York City, transportation officials are seeking to develop a taxing device that would also be equipped to pay parking meter fees, provide "pay-as-you-drive" insurance, and create a pool of real-time speed data from other drivers that motorists could use to avoid traffic.
 
"Motorists would be attracted to participate … because of the value of the benefits it offers to them," says a city planning document.
 
Some transportation planners, though, wonder if all the talk about paying by the mile is just a giant distraction. At the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area, officials say Congress could very simply deal with the bankrupt Highway Trust Fund by raising gas taxes. An extra one-time or annual levy could be imposed on drivers of hybrids and others whose vehicles don't use much gas, so they pay their fair share.
 
"There is no need for radical surgery when all you need to do is take an aspirin," said Randy Rentschler, the commission's director of legislation and public affairs. "If we do this, hundreds of millions of drivers will be concerned about their privacy and a host of other things."

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-roads-black-boxes-20131027,0,6090226.story#axzz2ixfq00lc
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 04:51:21 pm »

I first started to post on this back in 2008

E-tracking may change the way you drive

Commentary--Trust federal bureaucrats to take a good idea and transform it into a frightening proposal to track Americans wherever they drive.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has been handing millions of dollars to state governments for GPS-tracking pilot projects designed to track vehicles wherever they go. So far, Washington state and Oregon have received fat federal checks to figure out how to levy these "mileage-based road user fees."

Now electronic tracking and taxing may be coming to a DMV near you. The Office of Transportation Policy Studies, part of the Federal Highway Administration, is about to announce another round of grants totaling some $11 million. A spokeswoman on Friday said the office is "shooting for the end of the year" for the announcement, and more money is expected for GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking efforts.

In principle, the idea of what bureaucrats like to call "value pricing" for cars makes sound economic sense.

No policy bans police from automatically sending out speeding tickets based on what the GPS data say. Airlines and hotels have long charged less for off-peak use. Toll roads would be more efficient--in particular, less congested--if they could follow the same model and charge virtually nothing in the middle of the night but high prices during rush hour.

That price structure would encourage drivers to take public transportation, use alternate routes, or leave earlier or later in the day.

The problem, though, is that these "road user fee" systems are being designed and built in a way that strips drivers of their privacy and invites constant surveillance by police, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Zero privacy protections
Details of the tracking systems vary. But the general idea is that a small GPS device, which knows its location by receiving satellite signals, is placed inside the vehicle.

Some GPS trackers constantly communicate their location back to the state DMV, while others record the location information for later retrieval. (In the Oregon pilot project, it's beamed out wirelessly when the driver pulls into a gas station.)

The problem, though, is that no privacy protections exist. No restrictions prevent police from continually monitoring, without a court order, the whereabouts of every vehicle on the road.

No rule prohibits that massive database of GPS trails from being subpoenaed by curious divorce attorneys, or handed to insurance companies that might raise rates for someone who spent too much time at a neighborhood bar. No policy bans police from automatically sending out speeding tickets based on what the GPS data say.

The Fourth Amendment provides no protection. The U.S. Supreme Court said in two cases, U.S. v. Knotts and U.S. v. Karo, that Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy when they're driving on a public street.

The PR offensive
Even more shocking are additional ideas that bureaucrats are hatching. A report prepared by a Transportation Department-funded program in Washington state says the GPS bugs must be made "tamper proof" and the vehicle should be disabled if the bugs are disconnected.

"This can be achieved by building in connections to the vehicle ignition circuit so that failure to receive a moving GPS signal after some default period of vehicle operation indicates attempts to defeat the GPS antenna," the report says.

It doesn't mention the worrisome scenario of someone driving a vehicle with a broken GPS bug--and an engine that suddenly quits half an hour later. But it does outline a public relations strategy (with "press releases and/or editorials" at a "very early stage") to persuade the American public that this kind of contraption would be, contrary to common sense, in their best interest.

One study prepared for the Transportation Department predicts a PR success. "Less than 7 percent of the respondents expressed concerns about recording their vehicle's movements," it says.

That whiff of victory, coupled with a windfall of new GPS-enabled tax dollars, has emboldened DMV bureaucrats. A proposal from the Oregon DMV, also funded by the Transportation Department, says that such a tracking system should be mandatory for all "newly purchased vehicles and newly registered vehicles."

The sad reality is that there are ways to perform "value pricing" for roads while preserving anonymity. You could pay cash for prepaid travel cards, like store gift cards, that would be debited when read by roadside sensors. Computer scientists have long known how to create electronic wallets--using a technique called blind signatures--that can be debited without privacy concerns.

The Transportation Department could require privacy-protective features when handing out grants for pilot projects that may eventually become mandatory. It's now even more important because a new U.S. law ups the size of the grants; the U.K. is planning GPS tracking and per-mile fees ranging between 3 cents and $2.

We'll see. But given the privacy hostility that the Transportation Department and state DMVs have demonstrated so far, don't be too optimistic.
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 05:12:36 pm »

States Mull Taxing Drivers By Mile

CORVALLIS, Ore., Feb. 14, 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(CBS) College student Jayson Just commutes an odometer-spinning 2,000 miles a month. As CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports, his monthly gas bill once topped his car payment.

"I was paying about $500 a month," says Just.

So Just bought a fuel efficient hybrid and said goodbye to his gas-guzzling BMW.

And what kind of mileage does he get?

"The EPA estimate is 60 in the city, 51 on the highway," says Just.

And that saves him almost $300 a month in gas. It's great for Just but bad for the roads he's driving on, because he also pays a lot less in gasoline taxes which fund highway projects and road repairs. As more and more hybrids hit the road, cash-strapped states are warning of rough roads ahead.

Officials in car-clogged California are so worried they may be considering a replacement for the gas tax altogether, replacing it with something called "tax by the mile."

Seeing tax dollars dwindling, neighboring Oregon has already started road testing the idea.

"Drivers will get charged for how many miles they use the roads, and it's as simple as that," says engineer David Kim.

Kim and fellow researcher David Porter at Oregon State University equipped a test car with a global positioning device to keep track of its mileage. Eventually, every car would need one.

"So, if you drive 10 miles you will pay a certain fee which will be, let's say, one tenth of what someone pays if they drive 100 miles," says Kim.

The new tax would be charged each time you fill up. A computer inside the gas pump would communicate with your car's odometer to calculate how much you owe.

The system could also track how often you drive during rush hour and charge higher fees to discourage peak use. That's an idea that could break the bottleneck on California's freeways.

"We're getting a lot of interest from other states," says Jim Whitty of the Oregon Department of Transportation. "They're watching what we're doing.

"Transportation officials across the country are concerned about what's going to happen with the gas tax revenues."

Privacy advocates say it's more like big brother riding on your bumper, not to mention a disincentive to buy fuel-efficient cars.



"It's not fair for people like me who have to commute, and we don't have any choice but take the freeways," says Just. "We shouldn't have to be taxed."

But tax-by-mile advocates say it may be the only way to ensure that fuel efficiency doesn't prevent smooth sailing down the road.
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« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2013, 05:13:23 pm »

Kulongoski to pursue mileage tax
By Hasso Hering

A year ago, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced it had demonstrated that a new way to pay for roads — via a mileage tax and satellite technology — could work.

Now Gov. Ted Kulongoski says he’d like the legislature to take the next step.

As part of a transportation-related bill he has filed for the 2009 legislative session, the governor says he plans to recommend “a path to transition away from the gas tax as the central funding source for transportation.”

What that means is explained on the governor’s website:

“As Oregonians drive less and demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, it is increasingly important that the state find a new way, other than the gas tax, to finance our transportation system.”

According to the policies he has outlined online, Kulongoski proposes to continue the work of the special task force that came up with and tested the idea of a mileage tax to replace the gas tax.

The governor wants the task force “to partner with auto manufacturers to refine technology that would enable Oregonians to pay for the transportation system based on how many miles they drive.”

The online outline adds: “The governor is committed to ensuring that rural Oregon is not adversely affected and that privacy concerns are addressed.”

When the task force’s study and test were in the news in 2006 and 2007, critics worried that the technology could be used to track where vehicles go, not just how far they travel, and that this information would somehow be stored by the government.

In more than one interview with the Democrat-Herald and others, James Whitty, the ODOT official in charge of the project, tried to assure the public that tracking people’s travels was not in the plans.

The task force’s final report came out in November 2007. It was based largely on a field test in which about 300 motorists in the Portland area and two service stations took part over

10 months, ending in March 2007.

A GPS-based system kept track of the in-state mileage driven by the volunteers. When they bought fuel, a device in their vehicles was read, and they paid 1.2 cents a mile and got a refund of the state gas tax of 24 cents a gallon.

The final report detailed the technical aspects of the program. It also stressed the issue of privacy.

“The concept requires no transmission of vehicle travel locations, either in real time or of travel history,” the report said. “Accordingly, no travel location points are stored within the vehicle or transmitted elsewhere. Thus there can be no ‘tracking’ of vehicle movements.”

Also, the report said, under the Oregon concept of the program, “ODOT would have no involvement in developing the on-vehicle devices, installing them in vehicles, maintaining them or having any other access to them except, perhaps, in situations involving tampering or similar fee evasion activities.”

Equipment for the Oregon test was developed at Oregon State University.

Whitty said last year it might take about $20 million to establish that the mileage tax is commercially viable. Eventually, GPS devices would have to start being built into cars, and fueling stations would have to be similarly equipped.

The gas tax would stay in force — Kulongoski has proposed that it be raised 2 cents — for vehicles not equipped to pay the mileage tax.

http://www.dhonline.com/articles/2008/12/28/news/local/1aaa02_road.txt

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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 05:09:14 am »

Quote
“The concept requires no transmission of vehicle travel locations, either in real time or of travel history,” the report said. “Accordingly, no travel location points are stored within the vehicle or transmitted elsewhere. Thus there can be no ‘tracking’ of vehicle movements.”

Boy, now that is a statement that requires careful attention to what words are used and when. And the only way a reader would know is if they are educated about electronics and wireless technology, which most people are not.

The operative word, "transmission", in the first statement is deceptive in the way it's used. Who said any transmission was even needed to be a problem? The issue is not with the transmission of data, it's with the collecting thereof, regardless of what you do with said data once you collect it. In fact, the main problem is in the monitoring of the public in general.

People need some basic education about electronics and how "data" is handled. I think because data that is transmitted wireless seems to be nothing but air, people don't realize that it is in fact real matter that has mass, and therefore must be handled in a physical way. It may be small, but it's still physically there, in the form of ones and zeros, or "bits". Because of that physical fact, there must be a path, or "conduit" for that data to pass from one place to another. The air may be the wire, but it still requires a "wire" to move around between electronic devices of any type.

So, that means in order to determine how far a vehicle has traveled, and then make a calculation, that data must travel from the vehicle to some other place to be calculated for the tax, and then again data must be moved to determine who owes what and where to send a bill, even if it's at the gas pumps. The digital system must know who to assign certain data to, for billing purposes, and THAT is the tracking aspect they claim isn't there, to which I say bull. You cannot technically operate such a digital system without tracking. GPS by it's very definition is tracking.

If they want to assure there is no tracking, then simply have a vehicle inspection each year, and it's filed with your state tax return, and the data is pulled directly from your odometer reading, which would be compared to a previous reading, then you are billed on your state tax return. All that is needed is for a person to look at what the mileage is, write it down, and it's done. No tracking of a vehicle's whereabouts. This very thing has been done in the truck rental business for decades. No special equipment needed, as the worker simply looks at the odometer and writes down a number.

Quote
When they bought fuel, a device in their vehicles was read, and they paid 1.2 cents a mile and got a refund of the state gas tax of 24 cents a gallon.

Notice too they say no "travel points", whatever that is, are stored in the vehicle. They do not say it's not stored elsewhere, because the vehicle's equipment would have to interact with other electronic devices, and as soon as it does, you have a digital interaction that creates data that is collected and compiled. Each vehicle would have in effect it's own "IP address", just like each cell phone and computer does. It's a technology requirement so that electronic devices know which device is which in order to know where data came from, what it is, what to do with it, and where it's going.
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2013, 04:09:18 am »

NHTSA May Mandate That New Cars Broadcast Location, Direction and Speed

Before the end of this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether or not to begin the rulemaking process to mandate that newly manufactured cars include what is being called “vehicle-to-vehicle” (V2V) communications technology that constantly broadcasts via radio wave the car’s location, direction, speed and, possibly, even the number of passengers it is carrying.

“NHTSA expects to make a decision on V2V technology by the end of the year,” a spokesman for the agency told CNSNews.com.

That point was reaffirmed by NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in testimony in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today, where he said the agency will “decide this year whether to further advance the technology through regulatory action, additional research, or a combination of both.”

“We expect to issue decisions on light duty vehicles this year, followed by a decision on heavy-duty vehicles in 2014,” he said.

NHTSA sees this technology as the first step on a “continuum” of automotive evolution that will ultimately lead to fully automated vehicles navigated by internal electronics linked to external infrastructure, communications and database systems.

The upside of a government-mandated movement toward cars that are not controlled by the people riding in them is that it could make transportation safer, allow people to use time spent in a vehicle for work, rest or entertainment, and give people who are currently incapable of driving because of age or disability the opportunity to move as freely as those who can now drive.

The downside is that such a transportation system would give the government at least the capability to exert increasing control over when, where, if--or for how much additional taxation--people are allowed to go places in individually owned vehicles. It could also give government the ability to track where people go and when.

- See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/nhtsa-may-mandate-new-cars-broadcast-location-direction-and-speed#sthash.2oY1ampS.dpuf
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2013, 12:18:08 pm »

Well, that's for new cars, but what about old cars? Are they going to mandate they be retro-fitted with this stuff? If so, that would be a problem.
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2013, 12:33:02 pm »

Well, that's for new cars, but what about old cars? Are they going to mandate they be retro-fitted with this stuff? If so, that would be a problem.

Cash for clunkers did away with a lot of them. And only cars made before 1996would have to worry about it, as the OBD II keeps track of that information.
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« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2013, 04:06:09 am »

Democrat Introduces Bill to Double Federal Gas Tax and Then Tax Every Mile You Drive

Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenaur’s plan to fix America’s infrastructure, which is still in surprisingly bad condition considering we just poured a kabillion dollars into it via the Stimulus Plan.

Blumenaur’s going to tax every mile you drive.

Every.

Single.

Mile:

    Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require the government to study the most practical ways of taxing drivers based on how far they drive, in order to help fund federal highway programs.

    Blumenauer’s bill, H.R. 3638, would set up a Road Usage Fee Pilot Program, which he said would study mileage-based fee systems. He cast his bill as a long-term solution for funding highway programs, and proposed it along with a shorter-term plan to nearly double the gas tax, from 18.4 cents to 33.4 cents per gallon.

    “As we extend the gas tax, we must also think about how to replace it with something more sustainable,” Blumenauer said Tuesday. “The best candidate would be the vehicle mile traveled fee being explored by pilot projects in Oregon and implemented there on a voluntary basis next year.”

It’s not a novel idea.  It’s actually standard operating procedure for the left.

Look a problem!  Quick, tax someone.

The problem still exists!  Raise taxes!

ARRGH! It’s still there!  Double taxes and create some new taxes!

There is opposition to this, mainly from everyone.

The bill doesn’t stand a chance, but it’s important to know what’s possible in a country dominated by progressives.

http://allamericanblogger.com/26052/democrat-introduces-bill-to-double-federal-gas-tax-and-then-tax-every-mile-you-drive/
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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2014, 07:50:04 am »

Ford VP: 'We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing'

Modern automobiles are logging tremendous amounts of information every single second they’re being put to use, and a senior executive at the Ford Motor Company says car manufacturers have access to every last piece of it.

 At the CES electronic trade show in Las Vegas this week, the global vice president for Ford’s marketing and sales division opened up about just exactly how much data is being collected by his company’s latest line of smart cars.
 
“We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing,” Ford’s Jim Farley told a Vegas crowd on Wednesday, according to Business Insider reporter Jim Edwards.
 
“By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone," Farley assured attendees.

But just as how National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden revealed how the United States government compels telecommunication companies for metadata pertaining to the phone habits of millions of Americans on a regular basis, the sheer face alone that this automotive data is being collected and stored means it could someday be used by others.
 
Edwards described Farley’s remark as being “both sinister and obvious.”

“Because of the GPS units installed in Ford vehicles, Ford knows when its drivers are speeding, and where they are while they're doing it,” Edwards wrote. Should the company choose to share that information with law enforcement, though, then it could create an environment where surveillance extends off the computer and onto the road.
 
As many as 96 percent of the cars mass-produced in 2013 included event data recorders, RT reported last year, similar to the black boxes that log information inside airplanes.
 
“These cars are equipped with computers that collect massive amounts of data,” Khaliah Barnes of the Electronic Privacy Information Center told the New York Times then. “Without protections, it can lead to all kinds of abuse,” she said.
 
According to Business Insider, Farley said this information is being recorded in cars by Ford so that data aggregators and analysts may someday later be able to use it in real time to help solve problems, such as traffic congestion.
 
As RT reported earlier this week, however, automobile owners don’t have a choice for now as to whether or not they want their activities being etched into the computers of car makers. The Government Accountability Office released a report days before Farley’s remarks detailing the results of an investigation into data storage protocol among auto makers Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan and said that, across the board, if companies retained data then “they did not allow consumers to request that their data is deleted.”
 
The GAO says it would be a “recommended practice” for auto makers to adopt a policy that lets drivers be sure their personal driving data is destroyed upon request.
 
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) initially asked for the report to be conducted, and upon its completion this week he issued a statement saying more needs to be done to safeguard privacy in the information age.
 
“Modern technology now allows drivers to get turn-by-turn directions in a matter of seconds, but our privacy laws haven’t kept pace with these enormous advances,” Franken said. “Companies providing in-car location services are taking their customers’ privacy seriously – but this report shows that Minnesotans and people across the country need much more information about how data are being collected, what they’re being used for, and how they’re being shared with third parties.”
 
http://rt.com/usa/ford-vp-auto-surveillance-382/
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« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2014, 03:41:10 pm »

Quote
“We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing,” Ford’s Jim Farley told a Vegas crowd on Wednesday, according to Business Insider reporter Jim Edwards.
 
“By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone," Farley assured attendees.

 Cheesy He actually expects people to believe that? What a hoot!

The government will just take that info, and insurers would just love that data too.

The easy way around all that is simple, just buy an older car, something "pre-electronics". Plugs, points, and condensers are easy to install and manage.
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« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2014, 03:47:06 pm »

Cheesy He actually expects people to believe that? What a hoot!

The government will just take that info, and insurers would just love that data too.

The easy way around all that is simple, just buy an older car, something "pre-electronics". Plugs, points, and condensers are easy to install and manage.

what like 1943?  Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2014, 03:52:51 pm »

A '43 Willis Jeep would work  Wink, but anything that wasn't manufactured with electronic ignition would be the goal.
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2014, 04:07:28 pm »

need one of those EMP proof hand crank cars

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« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2014, 03:43:02 pm »

EU has secret plan for police to ‘remote stop’ cars

On Star anyone??

The European Union is secretly developing a “remote stopping” device to be fitted to all cars that would allow the police to disable vehicles at the flick of a switch from a control room.

Confidential documents from a committee of senior EU police officers, who hold their meetings in secret, have set out a plan entitled “remote stopping vehicles” as part of wider law enforcement surveillance and tracking measures.

“The project will work on a technological solution that can be a ‘build in standard’ for all cars that enter the European market,” said a restricted document.

The devices, which could be in all new cars by the end of the decade, would be activated by a police officer working from a computer screen in a central headquarters.

Once enabled the engine of a car used by a fugitive or other suspect would stop, the supply of fuel would be cut and the ignition switched off.

The technology, scheduled for a six-year development timetable, is aimed at bringing dangerous high-speed car chases to an end and to make redundant current stopping techniques such as spiking a vehicle’s tyres.

The proposal was outlined as part of the “key objectives” for the “European Network of Law Enforcement Technologies”, or Enlets, a secretive off-shoot of a European “working party” aimed at enhancing police cooperation across the EU.

Statewatch, a watchdog monitoring police powers, state surveillance and civil liberties in the EU, have leaked the documents amid concerns the technology poses a serious threat to civil liberties

Read Full Article
http://www.trunews.com/eu-secret-plan-police-remote-stop-cars/
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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2014, 11:01:50 am »

Sen. Introduces Bill To Test Out Taxing Motorists For Every Mile They Drive

The California Legislature is looking at a voluntary program that would tax motorists for every mile they drive.

KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reports that Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, introduced a bill to test out the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax because the state’s gas tax was no longer bringing in the revenue it used to due to people driving more fuel efficient vehicles.

The program is modeled after ones in Oregon and Washington.

“We want to do as Washington and Oregon have done in a much bigger state with much longer commutes…to make sure that we find out whether it would work, whether the public would like it or not,” DeSaulnier said.

It’s unknown how much the tax would be, but Oregon currently charges its volunteers 1.5 cents per mile.

“All of those things would be determined. We would let the agency determine that because this would be a voluntary program,” DeSaulnier said.

Southland commuters were not thrilled about the idea of a VMT tax.

“I bought a hybrid…one, because of my drive. I’m very opposed. I drive to Brentwood every day from Burbank, and I am already paying more than I should be,” Carmen Smith said.

“So if we go on vacation and I drive up to Mammoth, that’s 600 miles. We’re being taxed on vacations?” Kim Robinson said.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/05/05/sen-introduces-bill-to-test-out-taxing-motorists-for-every-mile-they-drive/
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2014, 06:41:38 am »

DOT Proposes Mandating Cars Broadcast Location, Direction and Speed

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, published last week an "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking" on "vehicle-to-vehicle communications."

What NHTSA is proposing could begin a transformation in the American transportation system that makes our lives better and freer — or gives government more power over where we go and when.

In announcing its proposed rulemaking, NHTSA is stressing its intention to protect the "privacy" of American drivers.

"This document initiates rulemaking that would propose to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS No. 150, to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability for light vehicles," says NHTSA's dryly-worded notice.

What do vehicle-to-vehicle communications entail?

NHTSA has crafted a nice phrase to describe the information cars would broadcast. It is the "Basic Safety Message."

"An integrated V2V system is connected to proprietary data busses and can provide highly accurate information using in-vehicle information to generate the Basic Safety Message," says NHTSA's technical report on "Readiness of V2V for Application."

"The integrated system both broadcasts and receives BSMs," says the report. "In addition, it can process the content of received messages to provide advisories and/or warnings to the driver of the vehicle in which it is installed."

The "Basic Safety Message" will be broadcast by the vehicle's dedicated short-range communications system. According to NHTSA, this system will need to transmit certain specific information.

"For example," says the technical report, "when a DSRC unit sends out a BSM, the BSM needs to: Contain the relevant elements and describe them accurately (e.g., vehicle speed; GPS position; vehicle heading; DSRC message ID, etc.)."

What NHTSA envisions mandating will not control people's cars but create a uniform communication system built into all vehicles that will give automobile manufacturers the opportunity to equip their products with warning systems that alert drivers to potential accidents — such as one that might be caused by cross traffic at a blind intersection.

"NHTSA currently does not plan to propose to require specific V2V-based safety applications," says the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. "Rather, we plan to propose to require that new vehicles be equipped with DSRC devices, which will enable a variety of applications that may provide various safety-critical warnings to drivers."

But NHTSA does not envision that the use of this type of technology will stop there.

The agency has published a "Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles." This statement describes V2V as part of a "continuum" leading to fully automated vehicles.

"Accordingly, three distinct but related streams of technological change and development are occurring simultaneously: (1) in-vehicle crash avoidance systems that provide warnings and/or limited automated control of safety functions; (2) V2V communications that support various crash avoidance applications; and (3) self-driving vehicles," said NHTSA's statement of policy.

"NHTSA finds that it is helpful to think of these emerging technologies as part of a continuum of vehicle control automation," said the policy statement. "The continuum, discussed below, runs from vehicles with no active control systems all the way to full automation and self-driving.

"While the agency is conducting research along the entire automation continuum, our emphasis initially is on determining whether those crash avoidance and mitigation technologies that are currently available (or soon to be available) are not only safe, but effective," said the statement. "However, because these same technologies are the building blocks for what may one day lead to a driverless vehicle, we have also begun research focused on safety principles that may apply to even higher levels of automation, such as driver behavior in the context of highly automated vehicle safety systems."

In its technical report on V2V, published last week, NHTSA said: "At the outset, readers should understand some very important points about the V2V system as currently contemplated by NHTSA. The system will not collect or store any data identifying individuals or individual vehicles, nor will it enable the government to do so."

"There is no data in the safety messages exchanged by vehicles or collected by the V2V system that could be used by law enforcement or private entities to personally identify a speeding or erratic driver," the report said. "The system — operated by private entities — will not enable tracking through space and time of vehicles linked to specific owners or drivers."

"Our research to date suggests that drivers may be concerned about the possibility that the government or a private entity could use V2V communications to track their daily activities and whereabouts," said the report. "However, as designed, NHTSA is confident that the V2V system both achieves the agency's safety goals and protects consumer privacy appropriately."

Like any other instrument, the new automobile technology the federal government is now planning to mandate can be used for good or ill. Certainly, automated automobile warning systems based on accurate data broadcast by other people's cars and roadway infrastructure can save lives.

But as vehicles become fully automated, as they surely will, and the people in them no longer have absolute control over the vehicle's movements, a key question will be: Who does?

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/dot-proposes-mandating-cars-broadcast-location-direction-and-speed
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2014, 04:32:12 am »

GM to launch cars that can pick up on distracted driving


Drivers who like to check their email or do their make-up at traffic lights, beware.

General Motors, the largest US auto manufacturer by sales, is preparing to launch the world’s first mass-produced cars with eye- and head-tracking technology that can tell whether drivers are distracted, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

Seeing Machines, an Australian group listed in London, has signed an agreement with safety-goods maker Takata to supply GM with tracking devices for up to 500,000 vehicles over the next three to five years.

The gadgets will start by measuring the rotation of the head so they can alert drivers if they are not spending enough time looking in certain areas such as the road ahead or the rear-view mirror.

“Safety doesn’t sell cars – sexy sells cars,” said Ken Kroeger, Seeing Machines’ chief executive. “But once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes.”

GM said it could not comment on future product plans.

The car is the next frontier for using “smart” sensors to gather and crunch consumer data, along with the home and the workplace. The move is part of the escalating fight over who can use technology to make money from drivers – whether via dashboard apps, streaming music or even watching movies in self-driving cars.

“The key way for carmakers to differentiate themselves is how they enable the consumer and create and share content,” said Thilo Koslowski, analyst at research group Gartner. “The user experience is an untapped opportunity that will crown the leader in this space.”

Carmakers are boosting their digital offerings in response to fears tech groups will steal market share in the coming era of “connected cars”. Automotive consultancy SBD estimates that the number of these vehicles will grow from 5.4m in 2012 to 36m in 2018, which would represent nearly a third of all cars expected to ship that year.

Mr Kroeger said Seeing Machine’s equipment could eventually allow drivers to activate an app by simply looking at a certain point in the car and then touching a button on the steering-wheel. The devices could also be used to detect the identity of the driver as a guard against theft – or to stop a teenager using the family car after 10pm at night.

The technology raises significant privacy concerns over how manufacturers and insurers will store and handle the data, though Seeing Machines’ devices will not keep or transmit the information, at least initially.

Insurance companies are already investing in telematics to monitor driver behaviour using smartphones and “black boxes”, which feed information back and adjust premiums according to that individual customer’s use of the car.

Seeing Machines’ devices involve cameras backed by algorithms that can identify features of drivers’ faces, such as the rotation of the head and the frequency of eyelid blinks. It then imposes this information on a three-dimensional map of the interior of the car so it can tell to an accuracy of one degree what the driver is looking at.

The company is investing in technology that will be able to tell how hard a driver is thinking by monitoring the dilation of the pupils, and combines facial information with sensors for vital signs such as blood alcohol levels and heart rate.

The news comes as GM and Takata face controversy over their products. The carmaker is being investigated by the US Congress over its failure to recall millions of vehicles over more than a decade despite flaws in the ignition mechanism. Several manufacturers, including GM, Toyota and BMW, have also recalled thousands of cars because of a defect in Takata airbags.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e5787fea-30e9-11e4-8313-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3C9J5eDPD
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