Lies, Lies and Politicians
"They also say it will reduce road congestion."
How does it do that without tracking a vehicles movement and periodic polling?
No, your car won’t be spying on you, say MEPs, but it will call you an ambulance should you need it. The European Parliament has reached a deal with national ministers to introduce a mandatory “eCall” system for all new cars from April 2018. However, although the system would automatically call the 112 emergency number in the …
Presumably if they get to an accident more quickly then they can clear the road more quickly too.
Imagine the congestion that can occur from an accident on the likes of the M3 once the hard shoulder has been removed, or on a minor A road somewhere where an accident would mean the road being completely blocked...
Never said the concept is useless, but to say it will fix congestion is utter horse shit. Live in the West Midlands where hundreds of roads cross over, run under and run parallel to motorways and you will realise this isn't going to happen.
This is the UK where roads are densely packed and cell signal triangulation is nowhere near accurate enough to locate a vehicle that is causing a traffic jam. I think the multitude of cameras and people calling on mobiles will be much more accurate.
Where it will be very useful is quieter country roads where you may fly of a lane and cars go by without noticing you, if there are any cars at all.
Oh good - another bit of technology to go wrong.
Cue the false alerts where notifications of emergencies are sent even though none exist because something in the system isn't working.
Ambulances will get to these non-accidents more quickly, but take longer getting to those in real danger since by that point in time they're in the wrong place.
With all due respect if an ambulance is called to a place where I have smashed myself to a point where I cannot call it, I would actually _WANT_ it to have my full medical record handy - correct blood, correct list of allergies and intolerances, etc.
If the call is with just "location, car, fuel type" it is completely useless, thank you.
The system is idiotic as designed. What it should do instead of having a car GSM phone is to use paired user phone(s) (something that can be identified and opt-ed in to match to correct medical records) to place the calls instead. The relevant functionality is in every bluetooth car stereo already - all you need to do is to hook it up to the airbag activation circuit.
And here is where we differ - you want it somehow to have all sorts of information it would be impractical to have (how would the system know whether it is you or another driver behind the wheel, what passengers, etc?). However, I DON'T WANT the system at all, regardless of such perceived "benefits". This should (indeed, I'd go so far as to say "must") be opt-in, and if I ever have to use a car with such an intrusive add-on, I will make sure I know how to disable it.
No really idiotic just based on practicalities and privacy.
Your solution doesn't address
a) The driver doesn't want a personal smartphone or have their medical records stored on a company issued one
b) Multiple occupants. What about a coach crash ?
If you're going down the route that the paramedics need access to the victim(s) full medical history then the only practicable solution is microchip implants.
Yeah - I'm fed up of forever replacing my air-bags having hit speed bumps too hard. Not.
This system is linked to the air-bag system and triggers when the air-bags fire. It also has a hands-free phone built in (or at least the one in my car does) so you can speak to the operator and let them know what state you are in and more details about the crash (assuming you are conscious).
Records from the finger print scanners used to open the door, the facial recognition camera used to start the engine. Reaching for controls must cause at least one accident per decade, so we need a microphone for voice activated windscreen washers.
If the vehicle stops in a deserted location and starts rocking then GCHQ should consider this evidence of a possible accident and activate all the on-board cameras and microphones.
You got it in 1.
Subsequently full time tracking of all vehicles will be mandated on anti terrorism grounds, after all ANPR tracks all cars in the UK already.
Then will come speed interlocks with maximum speeds governed electronically based on location.
You have to particularly dense to believe otherwise. In which case you probably thought the transatlantic extradition treaty would only be used on terrorists *snort*
This was from a case some years ago and may of course have been misrepresented, but from memory, a lorry driver was charged with dangerous driving and tried to enter his tacho record as proof that his speed was not excessive; he was not allowed to.
I don't recall the grounds, but I do recall it was in the days of the paper tachos.
Insurance companies have been pushing for this kind of box to be attached to cars for at least a few years now. It doesn't sound like it records everything they'd want, since they want to have evidence of you speeding before the accident and such, but could certainly be expanded to incorporate that "so we can investigate what causes crashes"
"Who lobbied the bureaucrats?"
It seems that quite often the EU gives bungs to campaigning groups, especially Big Green NGOs, to lobby it for things that it then makes into laws. It appears that the Neonic pesticide ban is one recent example, complete with all the policy based evidence making that money can buy.
Once that capability to transmit data is in there it can't be taken back again. Thin end of the proverbial. Other obvious questions are - will it really be accurate enough to predict whether an ambulance is required? in how many instances would it call an ambulance significantly quicker than would have been called anyway? and will this be counter-productive by sending ambulances haring off to minor accidents instead of being prioritised by a human to where they are most needed at that moment?
“It will be illegal to use eCall to track a driver’s movements or to misuse location data, which must be sent only to the emergency services,” said Olga Sehnalova, the Czech politician who helped broker the deal.
So police will need a warrant to take a download of your location data if you're suspected of being near the scene of a crime?
if they require that the hardware only gathers location data once it is triggered, then it can't be used for tracking/recording. Will this be the case?
Doesn't stop the whole system being totally pointless overkill though, which will be wrong as often as it is right. How does the system know that an ambulance is required? Will it have a delay built in and an option for driver override "Calling ambulance in 30 secs press this button to cancel"? How will it phone home when out of mobile range?
The most pertinent question is this "How does the system know that an ambulance is required? "
"delay built in and an option for driver override" seems to be a sensible solution (meaning almost certainly there will be a different solution implemented!!).
On the other hand humans aren't always the best self-reporters, so maybe if the impact force detected is above certain number of Gs, call an ambulance anyway
"if they require that the hardware only gathers location data once it is triggered, then it can't be used for tracking/recording. Will this be the case?"
Might be initially. But you have to consider that already 2% of new car registrations are pure electric vehicles or hybrids. That's comfortably ahead of DfT projections from last year, and despite high purchase costs and a fairly poor choice of vehicles. As better, cheaper cars come to market we can expect the takeup to increase. Initially the bunglers of government can simply up the tax on ICE vehicles to compensate for the loss of fuel duty, but that stops working well fairly quickly as the market share of EVs rises.
All of which point inexorably to road pricing as an inevitable government "solution". I'm sure some people won't mind the continuous tracking and record keeping by government (1), nor being charged more to use roads at certain times of day (roads we've already paid for), but can you now see what location tracking will be used for in practice? And the really great thing is this: Road pricing and universal tracking will be justified on the alters of two of the really important things government keep us safe from: Climate Change (tm) and Global Terrorist (tm).
(1) I know that ACPO currently have their own national ANPR system, but this is fairly basic and only covers trunk routes and a few key points
"with only basic details such as the class of vehicle, the type of fuel used [...]"
Paramedics prioritise accidents by fuel type? Electric/hybrid first, diesel last?
Or will the environmental hazards determine whether you should receive any help?
The fuel type alone makes it pretty obvious that eCall is *not* just used for providing quick first aid.
(Question of time until it replaces speed cameras and displays localised ads on your car's dashboard.)
>>>>>>Paramedics prioritise accidents by fuel type? Electric/hybrid first, diesel last?
I think that information is more for the Fire/Rescue teams.
My Stepfather is a Firefighter, and I remember when Hybrid cars were introduced, the manufacturers had to give them special training to disengage the batttery before going through to rescue the person - as the shifting of the vehicle in the rescue might result in the car just taking off.
"..free to all citizens..."
So who will pay for it, can the EU confirm the equipment cost will be absorbed by car manufacturers? Didn't think so. Who will pay for the alert service, funded by the EU...through our taxes perhaps?
It won't have an 'off' button but you can disconnect it if it is a discrete component, and if you own the car you can put a drill through it.
Standby for leak revealing financial relationship between eCall supplier and MEPs...
Indeed - where's the cost impact assessment of this latest EU Parliament unicorn law? Over 12m new cars are sold a year, so that's going to be, what, £200m+ a year just to fit the modules? And it's no use pointing out how the total number of people who die on the roads; this is only going to help in the small subset of cases where somebody is fatally injured, and incapacitated, and there's nobody with them who has a mobile, and nobody with a mobile passes by before they die. Don't politicians just love passing feel-good laws when they don't have to worry about where the money's coming from.
"So who will pay for it"
I presume that much like other safety improvements that have been mandated, the manufacturer pays for it initially and the cost is recouped through sales. Manufacturers have an incentive to keep that cost low because they operate in a competitive market.
The alert service is not much more complicated than a GSM SIM - so the ongoing cost is lower than Amazon's cost for running a 3G Kindle, given that there's no data or calls being made on any kind of regular basis.
"Nor is any of the data gathered allowed to be passed on to third parties without the explicit consent of the person involved."
I'm sure in the small print of the pages and pages of small print when you buy the car, you will have a tick box to give your consent.
At a change of ownership would any "explicit approval" be reset ?
If an ambulance is called, a Police car will always follow.
Who pays for the ambulance, the vehicle that got connected first?
"I'm sure in the small print of the pages and pages of small print when you buy the car, you will have a tick box to give your consent."
More likely it'll be a tick box to require privacy.
"Nor is any of the data gathered allowed to be passed on to third parties without the explicit consent of the person involved."
Notice how nowhere have they stated what the criminal sanctions will be against anyone who allows it to become known to a third party, nor the sanctions against any MEP / MP who votes in favour of something that does not include such basic protections.
At least 'Europe' will know that in the mornings during the week, I tend to drive to work, and in the evenings I tend to drive home. Sometimes at the weekend, I drive to the shops, but not often as that's why the internet was already invented.
Living in an urban conurbation my vehicular movements are tracked on a daily basis thanks to ANPR, and no doubt GCHQ can see where my phone is, and where I'm accessing my web accounts from, so actually, the 2 tons of metal sat in the car park showing as a single dot amongst all the vehicular dots in Europe doesn't really bother me that much.
Or maybe I need to attend paranoia courses?
I suspect this is because the security services are having problems with ANPR due to cloning of number plates, whereas a permanent tracker in a car gives a unique identifier. An added bonus of not having to pay for more ANPR cameras to gain better coverage and the cost is moved to the car manufacturer/motorist instead of the police/state/security services.
Needs a physical disable switch for the security conscious motorist. Or else Jolly John at the garage will be modifying unique identifiers in the engine management instead of turning back the mileage.
“It will be illegal to use eCall to track a driver’s movements or to misuse location data, which must be sent only to the emergency services..." .... Which will include the security services, of course, and anyone who pays us sufficient 'donations' to be redefined as an emergency service.
"Nor is any of the data gathered allowed to be passed on to third parties without the explicit consent of the person involved".... which will involve checking a tiny opt-out checkbox clause on page 79 of the agreement. Besides, selling data to selected partners is different to just passing it on, right?
I know we've all been promised before that data will be anonymised, used for a specific purpose and never, ever, ever passed on to third party interests, but this time its true, honest. And no, I can promise you that no one will be able to slurp the "metadata" because we've made it illegal to do so.
Whats that about those that don't learn from history?
Just think what (they said) RIPA was for & what it was actually used for
Or prevention of terrorism used to prevent Walter Wolfgang from rejoining the Labour conference
Or my car failing it's MOT due to a blown number plate bulb.
(MOTs were initially introduced as a safety improvement)
Is there any mention of how this will be made secure? Otherwise I can see it won't be long before a load of fake calls are being generated akin to the "swatting" that goes on when gamers etc fall out, in escalation of road-rage incidents. Or even to divert the "emergency" services to distant areas when a criminal activity is planned to occur.
This feature caters for the scenario where:
1) You have a crash where you are injured so badly that you can't call for help yourself.
2) But the crash is not bad enough to kill you or damage the device.
3) The area is inhabited enough to have good cell phone coverage and speedy emergency response
4) But there is not a single other people there who could call for help.
I can't help thinking that there are almost no circumstances where this would be the case.
This has been on BMWs for ages... http://www.euroncap.com/rewards/bmw_assist_advanced_ecall.aspx
It has a SIM in the car and dials their call centre upon a crash, airbags, being upside down etc. Then they dial into you via that SIM to talk with the occupants and then escalate to 999.
You're already carrying a tracking device and can be / are tracked everywhere, so get over it.
This device knows where you are, so it can know the speed limit too. Boom. No more speeding.
Maybe it can have proximity sensors too. Boom. No more tailgating.
The system could also be polled to see who was at an incident. Boom. No more hit and runs.
Link it to the police and the engine. Boom. No more stolen cars/joyrides.
So those opposing are probably hiding something. Maybe they need to retake their driving test?
When my young son was hit square in the lower back by a dinghy travelling at high speed causing him significant pain, how rapidly do you think the ambulance got there considering it was in a town centre, an under 10 year old, with a spinal injury, wet and cold, laid on a concrete slipway?
Three hours. We would have been waiting even longer for a paramedic to turn up to let the ambulance driver take him to hospital had we not given them premission to drive him there... slowly.
So permit me to consider this whole situation with some scepticism. It might call up for an ambulance, but there won't be any available.
Well, if this had happened in one New Zealand city I would say the reason for the 3 hour response time would be that the ambulance was busy picking up ambulance service management types from the pub after a night out and delivering them home - vastly more important than dealing to the merely sick or injured, apparently, as the crew were told that the taxi job had to be completed before the call was handled.
GCHQ is not the issue here.
The real reason for this being rolled out is to allow the govenment's to intorduce road charging.
After some years of all new cars being fitted with GPS and SIM, it is not much effort for a daily call to the Highways agency telling them where and when your car was. You'll get charged more if you drive in rush hour, you get charged more for using a motorway etc etc.
I wonder how long someone will work out where the "sweet spot" is for the trigger? And parked cars are suddenly calling the emergency-swervices.
I'm reminded of a certain car of a few years back where there was an impact-sensor fitted somewhere up behind the front bumper: giving the right area a thwack with a suitably heavy tool caused the central-locking to unlock (because, obviously, if you've been in a crash the last thing you want is for the doors to stay locked...)
and of course none of the insurance companies won't make it a condition of your policy that in the event of a claim you have to hand over the data or more likely they can just take it themselves as you have consented. If the illegal sharing clause said you could not contractually insist on consent I'll be very surprised
There are too many stupid sensors on a modern car that fail, often in difficult to diagnose ways, and which cost ridiculous amounts of money to replace (a friend's 55-plate Octavia diesel has had a problem with falling into limp-mode for no obvious reason, and the price for sensors was frightening). A relatively simple car pre-2000 will run forever without these problems, and can be fixed at home, or cheaply at a tame garage, if anything does go wrong. I'll stick with my policy of buying old cars and keeping them running, thanks.
It's the equivalent of Tomtom/Garmin live traffic, hooked up to the vehicle's CANBUS or whatever it's called, and also connected through to the 112/999 dispatchers?
To be honest, it sounds like they aren't talking about anything the private sector won't have implemented in the next 10 years anyhow - except for the actual emergency services connection, that is. Without government involvement that would be well down the list behind the Adsense/FaceYouTwat/Experian datalinks.
It sounds pretty unavoidable to me. The 'One more wire to cut / I'll buy old cars forever" brigade will mostly fade away when faced with a 600+% 'risk premium' on their insurance plus the inevitable bias against them in any accident investigation. "you mean you deliberately disabled/evaded the tracking and recording software every responsible road user relies upon to improve road safety? Why would you have done that if you weren't intending to drive like a maniac and cause accidents?"
There's no mention of retro fitting the things to older cars... yet,
This is not dissimilar to the recent experiment with insurance company's offering to fit a black box to your car to monitor your driving .... that experiment was deemed a failure because unsurprisingly not enough drivers were willing to be monitored every time they got in the car.
Last time I bothered to look, Progressive has collected more than half-a-billion miles of trip data from their customers, voluntarily. Without have access to their actuarial data and books, I can't say how they are handling the discount spread. It looks like it's a straight discount over their normal freight.
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