• Jul 11, 2010
Big Brother really wants to get into your future vehicle. Intel is currently hard at work on the next generation of vehicle event data recorders, the infamous black boxes that Congress has clamored for since Toyota's unintended acceleration problems dominated headlines earlier this year. According to The New York Times, these new black boxes may do a lot more than just record things like vehicle speed and whether you're wearing your seatbelt. Intel's prototype will incorporate GPS and all of a vehicle's onboard cameras for real-time mapping of the road conditions.
As if that's not intrusive enough, Intel proposes that the EDRs record up to 30 seconds of interior video as well. While this level of information would likely prove helpful in determining who's at fault in an accident, there's the prickly question of who owns that information once it's stored in the vehicle. Does it belong to vehicle manufacturers as it does now? Should the government be able to lay claim to it without a warrant? Will insurance companies be able to use EDR data any way they see fit, or does it belong to the owner of the vehicle? This could get ugly, and it probably will before all's said and done.

[Source: The New York Times]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      yuck. I don't anticipate needing to "stay off the grid", but I'll never buy a car with any kind of gps tracking in it
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know there are some benifits to this but I hope they do not allow it. The government doesn't need to know where I am and what I'm doing at all times. If they ever do put these in our cars it will be the first thing that I would take out of my car. Otherwise I'll just be stuck buying old school cars. Hopefully I'm not the only one who doesn't want the government watching me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't know. Considering people who fake unintended acceleration, I kinda like it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hope you all were *really* afraid of your Corolla pulling a 10-second drag on you, because the rest of us knew this is exactly where that witch hunt was headed. That's not a partisan comment, either... both US parties have been headed this way since the beginning of the century, just with different justifications.
        • 4 Years Ago
        While it's interesting how video tapes and similar data conveniently "gets lost" whenever police are accused of wrongdoing, I wouldn't be adverse to GM, Ford, and Chrysler placing these in all government "fleet" vehicles to start things off...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can understand (though am opposed to) recording things like car speed, depression of pedals, steering wheel angle, etc. but interior video? Absolutely not. I am the owner of the vehicle and just like in my home, what I do in there is NOT for public consumption.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am no fan of "Big Brother" either. I have no interest in being watched at all times for ANY reason. I expect that this issue will ignite a lot of fiery debate, both thoughtful and moronic, and the result will be a "middle ground" solution that displeases all those who take sides but pacifies those on the fence.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Except for information that points to manufacturing faults that result in safety issues, government really won't care. It is the insurance companies that want that information. Oh and what they would really like is the system to collect and hold that for a year with the insurance having the ability to remotely down load the data so they can 'rate' you. Of course they'll ask you permission to do this and if you refuse? Tough then no insurance.

        All this ranting about government intrusion is so naive that it is painful. It is big business that wants to track you where ever you go on the internet, what websites you view, how much time do you spend there and what articles you read. That wants to know how and where you drive. That is eliminating your choices in products availability. And now, due to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision they have free rein to purchase the government that they want. So bend over and grab your ankles kiddies.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cell phone? A cell phone does not record your conversations for future analysis. And it does not record video of you, as you use, it for future analysis.This is akin to what this Intel box would do for your car. And cell phones track you only as an incidental, not deliberate, part of their design. Cell towers are there for coverage, not to track you. For most people, the intent to monitor is what is disturbing, not the ability. All that they would have to add in the future, is a voice recorder function.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, but the most damage you're gonna do with careless cell phone use is dropping it off a two story building (while in a drunken stupor) on to the head of some 'hapless' girl exposing her bare chest at Mardi Gras.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Voyeurism creeps into the world of infotainment. I hate it.

      As someone living amongst politicians inside the beltway, I have full faith our Congressional leadership will provide clear direction to DOT...ensuring the American driver stays protected. After all many successful men conduct "personal" business late at night inside their vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice going, Toyota. First you lie your proverbial arses off about your supposed quality, then you hide all your defects and then lie about them too, and now because of you, part and parcel, big brother is going to watch everyone's car even the buyers that have an IQ over 90 that would'nt buy your junk in the first place.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The left out that you'll get charged for this too. It'll be added on the sticker price, you'll get charged should it malfunction and need to be repaired (and they'll probably have some anti-tampering light or vehicle go in safe mode if you try to remove it), and then insurance will hammer you too. Then again, if you have one, maybe the insurance companies will count it is a discount. Who knows. I don't want one in my car though!
      • 4 Years Ago
      No thank you. Intel, spend your time making computers, not automotive black boxes. Leave that to the manufacture. We don't need to be Big Brothered. People seriously, this wouldn't have been happening if you knew how to drive. We need harder driving tests and such. Not being recorded every time your in your car. This is absolutely ridiculous.
      • 4 Years Ago
      **As with everything else of a similar nature, the government will not have access to it without a warrant. **

      ORLY?
      List of things government already uses to spy on you without a warrant:
      1. email
      2. phone
      3. your shopping activity
      4. all your internet activity
      5. your trash
      6. your library reading

      You must be an old fogey because the way the government spies on it's citizens has not been the same since the patriot act and 9/11/01.
      You must also be unaware that habias corpus is gone and they can take you without disclosure.

      On a scale of one to Fraked, We're already all the way at Fracked mate.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone else out there not upset ... those of us who actually obey the law/speed limits? When my wife got T-boned at an intersection and went to the Triage; then court, the black box and red light cameras fried the perpetraitor. We need more of 'em.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Black boxes don't bother me. The proposal to have a video camera in the cabin bothers me. I could see how the video could be edited and used out of context to make it look like an innocent victim was equally at fault, by showing them drinking their coffee 10 seconds before impact. "They're drinking coffee, they're obviously not paying attention to the road!"

        On the other hand, it's nothing a Sharpie or some masking tape couldn't fix.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Two points:

      1. I'm a lot more worried about insurance companies grabbing this data than the govt. First they'll offer discounts if you give them full access, then phase that out and just require it. Then they'll start denying claims left, right and center, just like your health insurance company does.

      2. The fact that Intel is doing this scares me too. Between our weak-minded willingness to give up freedom for security, and the Chinese market, how long will it be before they are slipping 'black box' tech into their processor chips?
      • 4 Years Ago
      You already have one if it is equipped with Onstar.
        • 4 Years Ago
        crap- this was a reply for ben-reebok
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure Government will require a some type of forced license agreement as is done for commercial software applications. If you want to purchase & operate the car you'll need to sign off on the car's data collection software.

      Seeing that Chrysler and General Motors are already owned by the Government it shouldn't take any effort at all to accomplish this Orwellian goal.
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