“Your” Car Won’t Be After 2015

By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

After a certain point, it’s not paranoia.

The latest brick in the wall is the predictably named “Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century Act,” also known as Senate Bill 1813. (See here for the full text of the bill itself; the relevant section is 31406.) This legislation — already passed by the Senate and likely to be passed by the House — will impose a legal requirement that all new cars made beginning with the 2015 models be fitted with so-called Event Data Recorders (EDRs). These are the “black boxes” you may have read about that store data about how you drive — including whether you wear a seat belt and how fast you drive — ostensibly for purposes of post-accident investigation.

These EDRs are not new. GM and other automakers have been installing them in new cars for years — in GM’s case, since the late 1990s. What’s new is the proposed federal mandate, which would make it illegal to not have one — or (in all likelihood) to remove or disable one in a car required to have the device.

The question arises: why?

Several possibilities come to mind:

First, the EDRs could — and almost certainly will be — tied into your vehicle’s GPS. (Most new and late model cars, conveniently, already have this, too.) Then data about your driving can be transmitted — as well as recorded. To whom? Your insurance company, of course. Progressive Insurance already has such a system in place — voluntary, for the moment.

When EDRs are mandated, you will no longer have a choice.

We’ll be told it’s all for the sake of (groan) “safety” — just like the old 55 MPH highway speed limit and every radar trap in the country. Of course, it’s really for the sake of revenue — the government’s and the insurance company’s. Your rates will be “adjusted” in real time, for every incident of “speeding” or not buckling up. It’ll be so much more efficient than using cops to issue tickets. After all, so many fishes escape! With an EDR in every car, no one will escape. Your “adjusted” premium will be waiting for you when you get home.

You’ve got mail!

And naturally, they — the government, insurance companies — will be able to track your every move, noting (and recording) where you’ve been and when. This will create a surveillance net beyond anything that ever existed previously. Some will not sweat this: After all, if you’ve got nothing to hide, why worry? Except for the fact that, courtesy of almost everything we do being either “illegal” or at least “suspicious” we all have a great deal to hide. The naivety of the Don’t Worry, it’s No Big Deal crowd is breathtaking. Did the average Soviet citizen also “not have anything to hide,” and hence why worry?

But the last possibility is probably the creepiest possibility: EDRs tied into your car’s GPS will give them — the government and/or corporations — literal physical control over (hack) “your” vehicle. This is not conspiracy theorizing. It is technological fact. Current GM vehicles equipped with the same technology about to be mandated for every vehicle can be disabled remotely. Just turned off. All the OnStar operator has to do is send the appropriate command over the GPS to your car’s computer, which controls the engine. It is one of the features touted by OnStar — of course, as a “safety” feature.

In the future, it will be used to limit your driving — for the sake of “energy conservation” or perhaps, “the environment.” It will be the perfect, er, vehicle, for implementing U.N. Agenda 21 — the plan to herd all of us formerly free-range tax cattle into urban feedlots. So much easier to control us this way. No more bailing out to the country or living off the grid — unless you get there (and to your work) by walking.

The pieces are all coming together.

First, computer-controlled cars. Next, widespread adoption of GPS in cars. Then, EDRs tied into them.

Viola. “Your” car is suddenly under the control of others. Just as “your” other (cough, hack) property — “your” home, for example — is under the control of others. It does not matter that you paid for it. Or even that you have the legal fiction of ownership. You do not control “your” property — hence it is really the property of others. You are merely allowed to use said property — under certain conditions, by the leave of the true owners — the government and its cronies in the corporatocracy.

And once SB 1813 is passed and signed into law, there will no longer be an opt-out. In fact, sure as the rooster crows in the morning, you can bet the next step will a law requiring older cars not originally fitted with the technology be fitted with it — or else decommissioned. It is inconceivable that they — the government and its insurance company cronies — will allow anyone to drive a vehicle not subject to this monitoring and control. They will insist it’s not “safe” — and of course, “unfair” that owners of older cars not equipped with EDRs are able to “get away” with “speeding” and not wearing their seat belts.

Our cars were once a tangible expression of the freedom ideal. They are fast becoming mobile cages. And the really devilish thing is they’re making us pay the costs of our own imprisonment, too.


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7 Responses to ““Your” Car Won’t Be After 2015”

  1. Bruce Johnson says:


    I'd be willing to bet that most supporters of SB 1813, have as their ultimate goal, a return to federal speed limits…something most of them know will not work otherwise. But, with EDRs in all vehicles, they can dumb down speed limits to 55 (or whatever they want), knowing people will follow them or get hammered. A few motorists will go along with this, but most will not, and if the limits on rural interstates are dropped, many people will just give up on taking long trips by car, which is what a lot of these morons want. If this happens in 2015 and Obama is re-elected this fall (hope not), he would be a lame duck president and would not care if people hated the return of federal speed limits. Motorists' hands would be tied, and we'd be sentenced to bumbling down highways at snail-paced speeds in order to make driving as unpleasant as possible.


    • CurseWord says:

      I don't think they'll regress back to 55MPH. That was recognized as BS in the years after it went away. It was too slow, it didn't save as much gas as they thought, and I don't think any politician would want to drive that slow every day of their lives. They want the control, the revenue (automated speeding tickets), insurance companies want the money. I don't think they'd slow down the entire country, and (god forbid) take away money from big oil by curbing driving.

  2. Eddie says:

    While I believe that buying domestic is an environmentally responsible and economically logical ideal, I wonder if foreign made cars will be subject to these device requirements. If not, there would be good reason to buy foreign or simply drive and maintain older vehicles until legislation requiring them to update would be passed. The Rush song "Red Barchetta" comes to mind. Strange thing; older cars would suddenly jump in value as those of us that cherish our freedom would pay premium just to have "antiquated technology". There would be a great shift in the capitolistic pressures in the automotive market. Stock up on cars with little capacity for on board computers? You might make a mint.

    Thank you for this article, Eric.

  3. CurseWord says:

    Brilliant post, couldn't agree more. When I heard of the ability of On Star to disable cars that were stolen, my (at the time) overly-worrisome brain went where yours did. My thought was, should there ever be massive civil unrest (OWS x100), the gov. can simply disable all the cars, freeze people in their tracks, display their power, and stop the flow of protest.

    This is almost like a movie script, where the only way to escape is fire up the 66 Nova you had (illegally) stashed in a barn, and run for it. Sad that senators can't think about who is proposing these things, why they're proposing them. Many have an IQ less than they should, and thus just hear "safety", and vote for it, like they did with back-scatter X ray machines and domestic drones. I'm glad I won't live to be 200 years old, because things are going to be weird, and bad.

    Once again, if driving freedom is so dangerous, why haven't other countries put these bills through? Germany, land of a million auto deaths per yea- what's that? Lower than ours? But they speed so much…oh, speeding isn't that dangerous when done correctly? Interesting.

    We're screwed. Time to get dual citizenship somewhere.

  4. NoDa says:

    The tinfoil is strong with this one.

  5. Engineer says:

    "All the OnStar operator has to do is send the appropriate command over the GPS to your car’s computer, which controls the engine."

    Commands can not be issued over a GPS. Get your facts straight.

  6. merp says:

    yeah… they already do that with cell phones, which can tell speed as long as you have a beginning point and an ending point, as well as time elapsed. this is not new, and its already in your pocket.