Black boxes - carl_a
All new cars sold in the USA will be required to have a black box fitted. It seems they will be able to check out the way the car is driven, speed, hard braking etc and store it for later viewing.
www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,132056,00.html

How long before it happens here ?
Perhaps the police might use the data for fines ?

Black boxes - Ian (Cape Town)
Taping the last 10 minutes of conversation could be a good thing as well...
"That's not the way to fold a road map!"
"Let ME tune the radio!"
"That was our turning!"
"It's OK, I know what i'm doing at this speed..."
"Hello, Hello, you'll NEVER guess where I'm calling from..."
Etc etc etc
Black boxes - Dwight Van Driver
Seem to recall reading somewhere these are already being installed in cars of Met Police.

DVD
Black boxes - Altea Ego
re black boxes in general, there is really no need to legislate. Modern airbag/restraint/traction control/ abs computers already gather and retain all the required information as it is, They just need to be accessed.

Re taping the conversations just a couple spring to mind

(this one very recent and very true) "For gods sake woman any moron can see that Harlow is to the right of the A1M - do you really want us to miss this flight"

or with reference to police cars. "Right now then, that was a red one, the pink is going ot be difficult"
Black boxes - Aprilia
re black boxes in general, there is really no need to
legislate. Modern airbag/restraint/traction control/ abs computers already gather and retain all
the required information as it is, They just need to be
accessed.


No, they don't store time-stamped information, only fault codes.

I was involved in designing a black box for TRL (TRRL,as was) in the mid-1990's - they were installed on a fleet of cars to help determine whether having route-guidance software in the car would increase the likelihood of accidents.

A black box can be made very cheaply - just a clock-calender function and some semiconductor memory to store parameters such as speed, braking flag (i.e. braking/not braking) and flags for lights etc. Add a cheap semiconductor accelerometer and you could include g-forces, both longitudinal and lateral.

In fact on a modern car with bus system most of the data you need is on the bus, its just a case of pulling it off and storing it together with a time-code. A very simple task that could be incorporated into an exisiting ECU. Add in GPS if you want.....
Black boxes - NowWheels
In fact on a modern car with bus system most of
the data you need is on the bus, its just a
case of pulling it off and storing it together with a
time-code. A very simple task that could be incorporated into
an exisiting ECU. Add in GPS if you want.....


Sounds like a relatively cheap addition, which would be hugely useful in accident investigation.
Black boxes - Garethj
Technology already exists of course, but I believe it's a Government decision to not adopt it - probably because of the privacy issue (ie. losing votes issue)

I was told that it's possible to get speed data from mobile phones and this information is collected, but it's the distribution of the info which is restricted.
Black boxes - Altea Ego
"In fact on a modern car with bus system most of the data you need is on the bus"

Thats what i meant to say!
Black boxes - NARU
I've got a GPS-based black box in my car, fitted by Norwich Union Direct as part of an experiment on per-mile insurance pricing. Its only transmitting location data but it would be pretty easy to connect some other feeds.
Black boxes - Pugugly {P}
Police vehilces in this area are so fitted. They provide data as to engine revs, speed, lights, braking, and unusual violent movement.They also include light bar data. They are useful for the prosecution of the guilty and defence of the not so guilty. If memory seves me right they are made by VDO, latest developments are personlized key fobs so an unauthorised driver can't and driver details are stored in the box.
Black boxes - Aprilia
Yes, police ones have been around for a very long time (10+years ?). I remember having a drive in a demo car from a company called (IIRC) Traffic Safety Systems. It was in the late 1980's and was a Vaux. Senator - all instrumented up with black box, video cameras and recorder etc. etc. - very 'cutting edge' at the time!
Black boxes - Robin Reliant
Should the powers that be ever try to make them mandatory, they will of course push the "Accident Investigation" card for all it's worth.

What will eventually happen is the Police, Inland Revenue, Local Authorities and every group of self appointed busybodies in the country will have access to the full details of every journey made in the UK. What fun they could have with that.

Are there only a few who value their annonimity?
Black boxes - NowWheels
What will eventually happen is the Police, Inland Revenue, Local Authorities
and every group of self appointed busybodies in the country will
have access to the full details of every journey made in
the UK. What fun they could have with that.


Not necessarily. It would depend on how accessible the data was -- there could be various technical and/or social controls on access.

At the risk of straying of-topic, it seems to me that the real question we now face is not whether this sort of tracking data is created, but what constraints we can place on its access, and how those constraints can be enforced.

As one example, the new Oystercards on London Underground can be used to track movement. When combined with the new tracking surveillance cameras being deployed on the Underground, the system will be able to trace your precise movements throughout the system.

Of course, your mobile phone records and credit card trails already offer some of this capability. And don't think you can hide from it: the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang were captured in the 70s simply by checking on the small minority of folks who paid their utility bills by cash.

One way or another, that sort of data collection is coming to cars too.
Black boxes - Kevin
Aprilia said:

>No, they don't store time-stamped information, only fault codes.

Sorry Aprilia, GM acknowledged the 'black-box' function years ago.

"In order to improve automotive safety through better real world data and testing materials, GM introduced enhancements to its vehicles which will enable researchers to retrieve pre-crash data from a vehicle's air bag Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM). The enhanced SDM will be installed on the 1999 model year Buick Century, Park Avenue, Regal; Cadillac Eldorado, Deville, Seville; Pontiac Firebird and Chevrolet Camero and Corvette vehicles."

- Bob Lange, Engineering Director GM Product Safety.

(I believe a sub-set was introduced with OBDII in '96 models).

I have no doubt that every other manufacturer has followed suit.

NoWheels said:

>Sounds like a relatively cheap addition, which would be hugely useful in
>accident investigation.

Agreed!

>At the risk of straying of-topic, it seems to me that the real question
>we now face is not whether this sort of tracking data is created, but
>what constraints we can place on its access, and how those constraints
>can be enforced.

Who exactly is 'we'? You and me or a committee of David Blunket and
Richard Brunstrom?

Who decides how it is used?

>One way or another, that sort of data collection is coming to cars too.

That's when I stick a carb on every car I own and junk the electronics!

Kevin...
Black boxes - P E
I was told that they (black boxes) are on the Dennis fire engines that were recently delivered to the fire brigade for whom I work. I was then told to be careful when driving them (obviously). I wonder if they are on Ambulances as well?
Black boxes - NowWheels
>> At the risk of straying of-topic, it seems to me that the real question
>> we now face is not whether this sort of tracking data is created, but
>> what constraints we can place on its access, and how those constraints
>> can be enforced.
Who exactly is 'we'? You and me or a committee of David
Blunket and Richard Brunstrom?


By 'we', I meant all of us as a society. You and me and Blunkett and Brunstrom and everyone else.

This data is being created at a fearsome rate, and has a potentially big impact on all of us. But it's depressing how few people even know the basic principles of the Data Protection Act, which is quite a useful tool if you know how to use it.

I wonder how mnay of the garages which have access to this data in cars are aware of their legal obligations?
Black boxes - Aprilia
Aprilia said:
>No, they don't store time-stamped information, only fault codes.
Sorry Aprilia, GM acknowledged the 'black-box' function years ago.


Well, they did, but only a little bit I'm afraid. Since 1994/5 most US GM airbag ECU's have stored a small amount of data which relates to the computations just prior to firing the airbag. The airbag ECU looks at a 'moving window' of data, 5 seconds wide, on which it bases its calculations to fire the airbag. After the airbag has fired you can access the past 5 seconds of data (or you can if you buy the necessary US$3000 interface unit!). I think some recent US Fords have a similar facility. I don't know of any other manufacturers that have this facility. I'm not aware of any UK-market cars that have this feature.

The amount of data available from the GM ECU is very modest and a useful blackbox system would need to store far more data - probably needing logitudinal and lateral g-sensors and steering angle input, for example, plus storing several minutes of pre-accident data.
Black boxes - Kevin
Aprilia said:

>Well, they did, but only a little bit I'm afraid. Since 1994/5
>most US GM airbag ECU's have stored a small amount of data
>which relates to the computations just prior to firing the
>airbag. The airbag ECU looks at a 'moving window' of data, 5
>seconds wide, on which it bases its calculations to fire the
>airbag. After the airbag has fired you can access the past 5
>seconds of data (or you can if you buy the necessary US$3000
>interface unit!).

I think that 5 secs of pre-impact realtime data would cover most, if not all accidents. A driver given more than 5 secs to react to a immediate danger would have to be very unlucky indeed to be unable to avoid impact. Even so, the results of his prior actions will be visible in the data.

There is enough information available publicly to build an OBDII interrogator/monitor for much less than $3K.

>I think some recent US Fords have a similar facility. I don't
>know of any other manufacturers that have this facility. I'm not
>aware of any UK-market cars that have this feature.

www.detnews.com/2004/autosinsider/0409/06/-264474....m

"Mike Vaughn, a technology spokesman for Ford, said all Fords have had data recorders since 2002, but only a few models have advanced capabilities that have been the focus of critics of the technology.

>The amount of data available from the GM ECU is very modest and
>a useful blackbox system would need to store far more data -
>probably needing logitudinal and lateral g-sensors and steering
>angle input, for example,...

The data available from the GM ECU is far from 'modest'. Engine, ABS, traction-control, transmission and emmission sensors are all available. Whilst the addition of inertial data would be very useful for engineers I am not so sure that the data is primarily intended for product improvement.

>plus storing several minutes of pre-accident data.

Why?

Kevin...
Black boxes - pdc {P}
Can't imagine that all of the data from all the cars on the road would be transmitted in real time to "off site" (away from car) storage, so i would guess it would be downloaded as and when needed.

Easy enough to disrupt the storage medium, be it hard drive or memory chip.
Black boxes - Aprilia
How about a Wi-Fi device in your car so that the police can come up behind and read the speed, date of registration, when it was last serviced, last change of ownership etc etc... ;-)
Black boxes - AlanGowdy
Connect a GPS receiver, the engine management system and a black box map - held in memory and updated each time you start the engine with the current speed limits around the country - and PRESTO..... you are driving a car which will refuse to allow you to exceed the speed limit whatever you do with your right foot. No need for speed cameras any more.
Black boxes - Thommo
Ah but no speed cameras no wonga...

(Not turning this in to a speed camera thread really...)
Black boxes - borasport20
Ah but no speed cameras no wonga...

wouldn't be necessary -

when you buy the car, they could demand bank account/credit card details, debit your RFL every year, charge for miles travelled....

possibly even disable a vehicle if not taxed/insured...

it would be enough to make me get a bus ! (hmmm......)


--
Sept 2004 - 'Britain on the Move'
curious ? see www.mikes-walks.co.uk
Black boxes - Kevin
Alan said:

> Connect a GPS receiver.....

Simpler than that.

Equip every road sign or lamppost with $0.02c RFID tags that can be read by the vehicle ECU.


Aprilia said:

> How about a Wi-Fi device in your car so that police...

How about a lamppost that reads every vehicles VIN, speed, emmissions, seat belt status etc. and forwards that information via GPRS to the local Safety Partnership?

Kevin...
Black boxes - NowWheels
How about a lamppost that reads every vehicles VIN, speed,
emmissions, seat belt status etc. and forwards that
information via GPRS to the local Safety Partnership?


Shurely it would be more effective for the lamp-post simply to bend over and block the path of the miscreant vehicle?

;-)

Black boxes - pdc {P}
www.theregister.co.uk/2004/01/15/wireless_lamp_pos.../

Black boxes - borasport20
I find that quite reassuring.

our local council has enough problems just making sure the lights light up !


--
Sept 2004 - 'Britain on the Move'
curious ? see www.mikes-walks.co.uk
 

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