No sooner did we post our story about the UAE's plan to monitor its drivers, than Oregon announced plans to introduce a transponder device to monitor auto emissions control systems.
The black box is intended to automate the state's testing procedures for 1996 and later cars, and plugs into the car's OBD-2 diagnostic port. Receivers for the transponders will be placed near busy intersections, with the goal of checking most cars about every two weeks. Currently, the OBD-2 test is performed by technicians at Department of Environmental Quality testing stations on a biannual basis.

One objective of the program is to keep a lid on the cost of testing Oregon's 1.4 million eligible vehicles. Drivers will pay $39 for the device, plus the normal testing fee. Apparently, service is so slow at the state's testing facilities that this looks like the deal of the century to Oregon's drivers - 4 out of 5 said they'd use the device if they could avoid the current testing hassle.

[Thanks, Richard]

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