Do you want the government to mandate that auto manufacturers install devices in new automobiles that broadcast the cars’ location, speed and direction? That’s what the NHTSA is thinking of doing. Talk about an invasion of privacy!
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.
Read the whole thing. I’m wondering why the ACLU hasn’t weighed in on this. You would think that the government having the ability to monitor our driving would be cause for their concern.
Oh, and on the subject of the government invading our privacy, federal contractors in Texas were pulling people over and asking for cheek swabs, breathalyzers and ever blood samples. They’re calling it a “survey” to track how many people drive under the influence.