Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Car surveillance box to track drivers

Here is something that was discussed in the forthcoming book 'After the Car' - the introduction of 'black boxes' on cars to enable the tracking of the whereabouts of drivers anywhere in Europe. The Guardian reports that

The government is backing a project to install a "communication box" in new cars to track the whereabouts of drivers anywhere in Europe, the Guardian can reveal.

Under the proposals, vehicles will emit a constant "heartbeat" revealing their location, speed and direction of travel. The EU officials behind the plan believe it will significantly reduce road accidents, congestion and carbon emissions. A consortium of manufacturers has indicated that the router device could be installed in all new cars as early as 2013.

However, privacy campaigners warned last night that a European-wide car tracking system would create a system of almost total road surveillance.

Details of the Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems (CVIS) project, a £36m EU initiative backed by car manufacturers and the telecoms industry, will be unveiled this year.

Also, that

The system uses the same connections as those in mobile telephones, Wi-Fi internet and security tags attached to clothes in shops.

A car will constantly stay in touch via all these methods of communication, stashed in a router behind the dashboard.

Crucially, vehicles beam out a "heartbeat" message, revealing their precise location, speed and direction, to all other cars within a 400m range.

Read - 'Highway Wi-Fi: How the new tracking system works'

Read original article at 'Big Brother is watching: surveillance box to track drivers is backed'

With this and the new e-borders scheme blogged previously, it sounds as if all mobilities will be under near-total surveillance: is this the future?


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