Last week I wrote about how Big Brother is becoming paranoid and insanely intrusive. One of the points I listed in support of my contention was this:
Motor vehicle computers (so-called 'black boxes) are being programmed to record more and more information about their activities, and how their drivers manage them. There are efforts to expand the amount of data recorded, but there are no legal restrictions on how such data may be used.
Am I a prophet, or what? CNS News reports:
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 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.
The Obama administration says this is something it has “no plans” to do even if it does mandate V2V technology in all new cars.
. . .
“What was once previously thought of as science fiction and decades away from reality may now appear to be just around the corner,” NHTSA Administrator Strickland told the Senate Commerce Committee in written testimony in May.
There's more at the link. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
If you believe that the Obama administration - any administration, for that matter - is to be trusted when it says it has 'no plans' to use such features or impose such restrictions, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn, NYC I'd like to sell you. That's like the government offering to help you calculate how much tax you owe. Guess on whose side the margin of error is likely to fall?
I predict with confidence that such technology will start by being mandated in US cities with the biggest traffic problems. It'll be promoted as "a way to sort out the gridlock". It'll then spread to most large city centers, initially during rush hour periods, then in due course to 24/7/365. In other words, even if you live in an area where it's not mandated by law, your vehicle will still have to have this technology if you wish to drive into any major city - otherwise you'll be barred from using your own vehicle there. You'll have to park at a remote site and take public transport into town. If you don't want (or can't afford) to buy a new vehicle with all these electronic gizmos on it . . . too bad. You're S.O.L.
Big Brother. Wash, rinse, repeat . . .