Thursday, 2 April 2009

Knowing me, knowing you

A new system under development will take satellite navigation to the next level, because it can pinpoint the position of a car to within one yard. However, the technology is already causing controversy because it will also allow authorities to 'track' a car's movements and its speed, bringing the possibility of automatic speeding fines.

The £36m EU project is partly funded by the UK Government. The tracking system's development is also backed by a number of different manufacturers, including beleaguered US maker GM, because the technology will, it's claimed, reduce accidents, congestion and carbon emissions. It will also make proposed 'pay as you drive' schemes feasible.

The EU and the Gummint sponsoring a system to monitor us to within one metre? Lord Ahmed won't like lke it.
Sorry, did I mention this is going to be embedded in new cars? By law?


The Penguin said...

I can read a map, so don't bother with sat nav.

The Penguin

Cato said...

I've got one for sale...well, it is now!!

Gareth said...

It's to prop up the EU Galileo carbuncle by the backdoor. It wasn't meant to be a military project until they arbitrarily decided it should be (to sneak the money through military budgets). It's meant to be self-funding eventually - the aim being lots of people will pay for a service they can almost already get for nowt from the Americans...

A project so unweildly we got the Chinese involved to help spread the cost and speed up the implementation, only they copied the good bits and have got much further on the way to getting their own system fully operational than the EU has. Daft buggers in Brussels. If they don't get a shift on China will have completed it's own network and the frequencies won't be available.

black hole sunset said...

In any sane world, this marvelous technology would be put good use tracking every politician and beuraucrat in the land down to the millimeter.

Rather than National Lottery Live Draws clogging up "prime time", we could be faced with the thrilling season-end climax of "Shit on a Politician", a frenetic live-action game show where members of the public win a tin of beans and a handful of firelighters for every Cabinet member they find, corner and ....... well, you can guess the rest.

microdave said...

As I gather it's intended to install this technology on new cars I will redouble my efforts to keep motoring in older ones! And if it gets to the stage when there is no choice it will be time to leave (If I haven't already by then...)

Anonymous said...

Cocking arse-sparklers you've got to be having a laugh, no really....?

Anonymous said...

I bet within a few months of their introduction there would be someone selling (very discretely of course) some way of fooling it - showing you doing under limit on any road or blocking the signal completely. Human ingenuity knows no bounds.

Shirking From Home said...

What's the problem with getting out the wire clippers and disabling the fucker? Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells did much the same with their wheelie bins.

Old Holborn said...

I supose you could get the train instead

Just log in with your oyster card...

Leg-iron said...

All this technology makes it really easy to disappear.

Clip out the sat nav, wire it to a battery and tape it to the bottom of a lorry's trailer while the driver's asleep. It'll look like you're tailgating the truck everywhere or you've driven the car into the trailer to hide it. Meanwhile you're zooming off in an entirely different direction.

Trains and buses, no problem. Buy a ticket in one direction with your card, then buy another in the opposite direction with cash.

The more surveillance they set up, the easier it becomes to send anyone chasing you in the wrong direction. Can't they see that yet?

Surveillance only works if the spies have brains. Since they employ dopes to run these things, all that's happening is that the law-abiding are watched and harassed all the time while life gets easier and easier for the criminals.

But then, that's been the Labour way all along. What Tiny Blur meant to say, but botched the delivery, was 'Crime, crime, crime.'

He mixed it up with 'Tough on education, tough on the causes of education.'

It makes much more sense that way round.

Youf of today said...

Points, in no particular order.

1) Embedded in new cars, but there'll be plenty of old ones out there.
2) People have been able to block EM signals for, ooh, 173 years. See: Faraday Cage
3) Depeding on where it was in the car, there could be all manner of entirely innocent reasons why it would break.
4) How are they planning on getting the data out again? Various ways come to mind, but all have problems.

Of couse, just think of all the chaos that could be caused by a few people with a transmitter and knowledge of the spec.

Anonymous said...

Time to really start disrupting the system I think. Apart from the mantra of 'Lie, lie, lie' to all & any officialdom it's time to log journies to one place & go to somewhere completely different, as already suggested. Also 'accidents' to speed cameras & CCTV could increase. Balaclavas could become a fashion statement. The list is endless. Natural ingenuity will beat Brown & his Stasis every time.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

What do they expect for a measly £36m ?
Perhaps this is the reason behind the recent suggestion that Government should subsidise the buying of new cars ? That's going to work isn't it but if they made upscaling compulsory at least it would clear some of the poor off the roads.

wildgoose said...

Old News.

More to the point, within the UK the vehicle tracking is intended to be England only.

Transport is a devolved responsibility and Vehicle Tracking and Charging has been rejected by the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but enthusuastically demanded by the Colonial Masters ruling England.

Roger Thornhill said...

1. One yard is achievable now with existing GPS and MTK chipsets in all but the deep urban canyons, but Galileo plus GPS and GLONASS should give a very reliable almost universal 1m accuracy.

How do they get data out? The same way they get IN traffic data - TomToms now come with a SIM card built in...

The Chinese - well, I told a bloke involved in the Galileo as PC as I could that they are about to be utterly ripped off by any involvement by the Chinese and Lo An-Bei hold they were. Morons. Talk about being UTTERLY clueless. The systems were pretty smart by the looks of it and they just gave all the smarts away and got nothing in return.

We don't need huge govt funding, we need X-prizes to encourage plurality of private innovation. That way, the smarts aren't leaked away or meddled with, as the competing companies will keep it very much under their chests!

I suspect the SMMT were using this angle to wangle subsidy - "give us state cash and we play ball over vehicle tracking". Some think that is conspiracy. To me the dots are too close together and make too neat a curve. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Implementing this system is basically a really easy way to hand a victory to technically-savvy terrorists, assuming any ever turn up. The scam works like this...

Assume that in a future world the Government has every car tagged with a position-finding device. Subverting the system is heavily punished to prevent the sheep escaping the invisible electronic pen, so if someone were to jam the system somehow the devices would automatically rat the drivers out out to Big Brother, who'd then hand out fines to all concerned.

So, were someone to build a set of jamming devices and put these on and around busy UK roads, set so all units on one stretch fire up and jam all Galileo signals in a set area for a set time then shut off and go silent again, then what you'd get is all cars in the area being suspected of having jamming units fitted and thus being fined automatically by Big Brother. All these drivers will have done nothing wrong and all will get victimised by the State (guilty until innocence can be proven) for having committed no crime.

This is asymmetric warfare at its best. All the terrorist is doing is distributing the jammer units, which can be as simple or as sophisticated as the maker feels like (solar panels and peer-to-peer comms to synchronise the entire group, say) and said terrorist sensibly leaves all the messy terrorising and victimising bit to the State, who are after all much better at doing this than a bunch of bearded loons can ever be.

I wonder if the Government has considered just what a pile of trouble they would be making for themselves were they to try to implement this (in the unlikely event of the Chinese not pipping the EU to the post, frequency-wise)?

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