On another note, it was very clear checking off do not track in the vehicle. The only reason they say they want to track is for data like the exec gives the example for, traffic analysis etc. not like daily tracking. But it is creepy and really I dont know if all the benefits balance out the potential drawbacks.
There is also this notification in the myfordsync system that is "911 Assist".. now this is a fine option, but literally the car will remind you everytime you start it that it is off and unless you select otherwise, it won't just alert you, but will give you the option to turn it on.
I cannot see it remaining this way. It is just a matter of time before the OEMs buckle and sell your data to an enterprising third party in exchange for the ability to lower costs. The auto supply chain is notorious for being a bloodbath of cost-cutting. It's a perfect cultural fit.
Not saying that you won't retain the option to turn off tracking as these systems become more widespread, but it's just an illegible TOS away from being opt-in by default with a buried opt-out.
Is anyone else getting sick of this trend? Especially with stuff that you pay full-price for. I can understand why gmail / facebook / etc do it - but for other traditional models to jump in on it seems like they're all too eager to destroy any traditional transactions.
Everybody complains about airlines cutting legroom, but no one seems willing to stop buying the airline ticket that comes to the top when you click 'sort by price, lowest to highest.
People say they value things--privacy, comfort, freedom, health, etc.--one way, then they act in a way that shows they value money more. It's enough to make you stop believing what people tell you and instead just looking at what they do.
Or maybe I'm just old and cynical.
If my auto manufacturer made it clear that there was a hidden GPS in my car constantly reporting my position (hilarious that, for a GPS that I can see, I have to pay a ridiculous extra amount for the "option") I would definitely ask them how to turn it off.
In case you just thought it was much harder to discover than it actually is, check out seatguru.com.
Over New Years my wife and I flew United from IAD to SFO. Checked in the night before the flight and was assigned row 38 seats E and F. Got to the airport the next morning and our seats were separate because the plane that actually showed up to fly us only had 37 rows.
If an airline can't even assign the correct seats the night before a flight there is no way they can do that months in advance when you are buying the ticket.
And of course you can enhance this by explicitly paying for more room. Lots of airlines these days are offering coach-class seating with more room. United has Economy Plus, and most other airlines let you pay a small premium for exit row seating, bulkhead seating, or similar.
If you don't want to pay extra and you don't want to do the research that gives you a good chance of getting what you want, well, that's absolutely fine, but I'm not going to believe that you care at all about legroom if you do.
With connected devices, the line in the sand is fading extremely quickly.
Your car is a platform and a place where you are a captive audience for advertisers. Your movements and habits are valuable to any entity that can sell you something or has a financial stake in your behavior (auto insurance company).
This New Years Eve I watched a montage of the ball dropping in New York City's Time Square, from 1976 to the present. Time Square, from the beginning was a place defined by commerce, advertising, and media, yet it was quaint in a way. The buildings were slathered in neon; billboards were brightly lit. You could see the progression even from there though. When the montage ended in 2013 the TV screen was covered with media and even the crowds themselves where plastered with blue foam Nivea top hats and branded clothing, carefully doled out to those located in "in-camera" zones. Wherever we are, wherever we look, whatever we hear, they want to get closer and they must. As long as money incents this, they always must.
Not saying it's good or bad, it just is. If we don't like being products so much (in the aggregate), then we have to decide this together and craft protections into law. If we don't care so much, then we know where this is going.
I would be unsurprised if the insurance companies gave a discount for the use of these devices in cars, especially if built in--and you can probably bet your ass that the contracts for these policies will include "we can do whatever we want with the data, share with whomever, etc."
Needless to say, I bike everywhere now.
(I'm sure someone can list lots of abuses of this process; the point is that they are still looked at as abuses)
The day will come when you can't get car insurance without active tracking. It is just too tempting for insurance companies to reduce their claim investigation overhead/cost with that technology.
Of course, strong privacy protection laws could keep this from happening.
I can see a far future where the only people who want to refuse the trackers are reckless or awful drivers, but I can't imagine an insurance company refusing to write a contract with a driver that has a reasonable history.
That checkbox doesn't, and can't, mean anything. You don't get to opt out of law enforcement requesting a second-by-second stream of your location data, and neither does Ford.
Also, if you think them knowing your location like this is scary, wait until we have self-driving cars, that will have built-in kill switches in them or some kind of remote control, you know, for "updates". Getting rid of people (journalists especially - Michael Hastings anyone?) in "accidents" will never be easier.
That reminds me of how phone calls to most companies are recorded nowadays.
"This call may be recorded for quality control purposes."
No one thinks twice about that but, while the "official" reason for recording it might be "for quality control purposes", that doesn't mean they can't or won't use it for any purpose they want.
Those calls are being recorded to cover their ass in case of disagreement or dispute.
Actually, it usually means that an algorithm is listening in the conversation
(see for ex. http://www.callminer.com/products/eurekalive/ ), and learning from your voice tone, use of words, grammar choice, etc ... to know what kind of personality you have and put you through the right agent or give them clues on how to most quickly and efficiently help you (or get rid of you)
The only thing that remains to be seen is how long that stays true. Once the data exists, it's much easier for the state to appropriate it. It's far harder for the state to mandate collection of this data to begin with. Ford has already done the hard bit.
The UK's CleanFeed was similarly coopted in order to implement censorship of PirateBay. It's unlikely the courts could have forced ISPs to implement a censorship scheme. But the ISPs created one anyway, with the noble goal of reducing child porn commerce; and of course, it was only to be used for this purpose. But once the courts found out about the capability, they could force it to be used in much more ambiguous and less noble situations.
Don't think I'll be buying a Ford until then, and will check for other manufacturers pulling the same intrusive stunt.
Perfect enforcement also puts pressure on lawmakers to make reasonable laws. If it's just some guy that you don't relate to being burned by stupid laws, you're not going to care. If it's everyone, you are going to care.
I disagree vehemently.
People drive a speed they feel comfortable driving. Full Stop.
The only time a speed limit sign changes behavior in the vast majority of drivers (in the US anyway) is when a cop is present.
The smarter way to reduce speed in the sections of road that actually are more dangerous is to make them look more dangerous, for example by painting lines on the road that make you think you're travelling faster than you are.
There are major roads where, except for rush hour, 100% of cars on the road are travelling well above the speed limit because it is set far too low for a modern vehicle driving on a multi-lane, fairly straight highway.
This causes a fairly similar attitude toward speed limits that a large percentage of the population has toward pot: you scaremonger about something that obviously isn't dangerous in 95% of cases (pot / 35 MPH, 6 lane roads), which makes the remaining 5% of cases that are actually dangerous (Heroin / sharp turn with low visibility) seem less dangerous because you spent so much effort to conflate the two.
Meanwhile, we're unable to have a sober conversation about the subject that results in speed limits and road laws that make sense because of think of the children! scaremongering, e.g., "children on their way to school also lose the reverse lottery, but instead of a $300 fine, they die."
You're conflating all instances of speeding with "the idiot who drives 50mph on my street, which is 1/4 mile long, and has children under the age of 12 in all ten houses on this road."
Instead of being able to have a measured conversation about what speed is safe in a given street or area, we get hysterical fear mongering that does two things:
1. It causes the speed limit on a majority of roads to be set to a level that is well below a safe speed to drive, instead of setting reasonable limits in most places and then carving out exceptions in places that are more dangerous.
2. Your tone, both when talking about behavior you'd like to see changed and when referring to the other people whose comfort/time/opinion you "don't give a rats (sic) ass about", is alienating and all too common in these kind of conversations.
Both of these factors contribute to people, en mass, deciding speed limits (on their own) are never actually meaningful, and so they must use other factors to decide how quickly they should drive.
Maybe Traffic Calming should be implemented on your street, instead of posting a small sign that people will ignore?
I'm sorry you feel alienated because I'm not sympathetic to unsafe drivers. I feel correspondingly alienated by your lack of concern regarding pedestrians, and the dangers cars pose to small children.
Traffic calming would probably be unsuitable to my road; it's about 1/4 mile long, and only wide enough for two cars. When cars park on the street, it makes it a swerve event when two cars come from opposite directions. Speed bumps might help to some degree, but from what I've seen of the drivers behavior, they'd probably just enjoy that.
I think you're giving drivers far too much credit for making rational judgements regarding speed.
OK, I'll bite.
I'm assuming you're talking about the US. Do you really think that a "majority" are set to a level "well below" a "safe speed"?
You think 25 mph on a residential street is too low? There's a British video of how even low-speed collisions can be fatal for pedestrians.
I've personally found the speeds in the USA to be eminently reasonable. 25 mph: residental, 30 mph on undivided business streets, 40/45 for multilane main streets. 50 mph for minor highways, and 65+ for interstates and major highways.
I'm mostly talking about the US, although I've since moved to the UK, but I still do most of my driving when I come back to visit the US.
As a point of reference, I'm most familiar with Chicago/Illinois & St. Louis/Missouri speed limits, and I think Illinois speed limits tend to be set unreasonably low (lower than almost anyone on the road is actually driving), while Missouri speed limits are generally more reasonable, if a little cautious.
"You think 25 mph on a residential street is too low? There's a British video of how even low-speed collisions can be fatal for pedestrians."
And places where pedestrians are regularly crossing the middle of the street are perfect spots to implement Traffic Calming, and to be honest, 99% of my complaint is regarding non-residential streets.
"25 mph: residental, 30 mph on undivided business streets, 40/45 for multilane main streets. 50 mph for minor highways, and 65+ for interstates and major highways."
I would say this is generally what they are set to in St. Louis, but they're systemically 5 to 10 MPH lower in Chicago and most of the surrounding suburbs.
Missouri has recently also instituted variable speed limits that change based on weather and time of day. This to me speaks mountains about the true intention being closer to safety than either revenue or giving cops the ability to pull basically anyone over.
I am a great driver and people had been present when I got myself out of 'sticky' situations--avoided red-light runner t-bones, people merging into me, parking lot fender benders who don't check their rear, etc.
Problem is, there are plenty of bad drivers out there who would happily go 80-90 and drive recklessly in their parents' BMW (Palm Beach teenagers, anyone?). The deaths due to traffic accidents are staggering and it's a huge public health issue. If speeding is not illegal, then it could be difficult to show wrecklessness or other mitigating circumstances should there be a manslaughter case. IMNAL, but I think it could have wider and unexpected implications.
I agree that many speed limits are somewhat arbitrary, but I disagree with 'smart' means of reducing people's speed. People need to learn how to follow the rules or they don't belong in society... it's as simple as that.
Whereas your argument is, the status quo is fine, people just need to follow the current rules better, even though all evidence says people aren't going to do so?
I think there are certainly some areas where speed limits should be much higher, but my point is that you need to balance your desire to drive faster with the risks of people who are not as responible as you causing major accidents.
Speed limits, when using the textbook, are set by running a study of car speeds on a particular stretch of road, then setting the limit where something like 80% of drivers are at or under it. This survey is done with either cameras or those nearly invisible pressure strips they glue to the road surface, and most people drive through without noticing at their normal speeds.
If it's set slower for political reasons, obviously then many more people are going to naturally be driving faster than the limit. The primary function for this is to increase ticket revenues, not make people safer. Indeed, adding things to the road to make it feel like you need to slow down, and not just a speed sign, do more to control traffic speeds.
Alternatively, it's the one case where I'd consider arguments for speed cameras. Yes, they too only affect local traffic speeds (just before them and a little after). But if the concern is speed in a particular corner of a road, put one up. People will know they're there, slow down, and be safer.
Also, traffic deaths dropping is irrelevant because there is no causal relationship. It could be safer cars, more seatbelt use.... heck, changes in weather patterns or population densities could all contribute and it's going to be futile to argue laws may prevent traffic accidents. The point is that when an accident happens, laws need to be on the books so that people can be prosecuted for their mistakes.
I poorly supported that with the traffic deaths dropping bit, quite true.
Separately, it would be more apt to observe that traffic speed limits set not with respect to natural driving speeds are shown to increase traffic collisions, because speeds set too high will have some drivers naturally driving far too slow to be safe, and speeds too low will also have drivers driving too slow (the posted limit) versus the natural speed of the road which some will drive.
In his initial post, Op didn't ask for 100% enforcement so that we would then get sane laws, he called for 100% enforcement because children are dying.
I do agree that full enforcement would likely lead to vey quick changes in the law.
Reminds me of this AutoBahn video:
And that would exactly be the case, if you were tracked and got a ticket the moment you crossed the limit.
Except for those who write and enforce the law, of course.
Perfect law enforcement is what exactly? Reducing incorrect stops and searches? Or trading everyone's privacy for accurate and efficient punishment?
The first day of perfect enforcement in Northern Virginia, for example, would lead to about two million tickets being issued. After the entire legislature had been strung up by their thumbs, the new legislature would no doubt realign all speed limits and other laws to match how people actually drive, rather than some insane ideal of how they should.
Roads are designed to be driven at a particular speed. This is the speed most drivers use.
Having a lower speed limit gives a false sense of safety. It's basically the "think of the children!" argument.
And this is hardly unique, of course. Cops operate under similar constraints (although they can tell cars apart better than a camera system) and their placement is unpredictable.
There are certainly non-random components, but there are substantial random components too.
The other time I received a ticket, I was also driving way faster than traffic. In my experience, that's mostly when people get tickets--not randomly for exceeding the speed limit when everyone else is also speeding, but when they're going above the speed of traffic. I used to commute from Atlanta to the suburbs on I-85, where the speed limit was 55 but the speed of traffic was 75+, and I never got a ticket. My friend who did was going 80+ in a BMW M3.
I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.
Note "effective", not "best".
Your turn signal lamp was not illuminated for one nanometer less than the legally required distance...
Please realize also that the laws need to protect that "some guy you don't relate to" as well as the "everyone" that you care about.
There is ample evidence humans simply can't drive; they process information too slowly for the speeds they are driving, they are unable to make purely rational decisions, instead involving emotion, bad memories and a ton of cognitive dissonance, they are completely useless at estimating risk (or their own limitations), incapable of doing some monotonous task but staying alert, ...
Laws simply do not acknowledge that, for economical  or simply historical reasons. You pass the test once, and your "abilities" are never questioned again. You can crush somebody on a right-turn, and as long as you stay at the scene, are sober and repeat "I didn't see him" ad infinitum, you can drive again tomorrow.
: Had we correctly considered the risks and negative externalities, this would be a non problem. We would instead have useful public transport.
It's also a leaky abstraction. It's surprisingly safe for what it is-- humans moving at speeds no land animal, under its own power, can. The risk of death on the highway is about 0.5 micromorts per hour. That makes it safer than skydiving or scuba diving, and comparable to marathon running. Ultimately, those aren't bad odds. (By the way, running marathons is safer than a sedentary lifestyle by far. I'm doing a half-triathlon in October with no qualms about the risk.)
The real issue isn't speed (although that's a part of it) but complexity. Accidents don't usually happen when one thing goes wrong but when several things go wrong together. That's why they're more common on low-speed roads and in urban settings (where more random shit can pierce the abstraction of driving) than on the highway. Speed does mean, however, that the accidents that do occur will be a lot worse. Speeding on low-speed roads is actually a lot worse than on the highway. If you hit a pedestrian at 40 in a 25 zone, you'll probably kill him.
I'm not sure what word you meant here, but driving isn't an abstraction. It's a physical activity that occurs in the real world. It's not a simplified representation of anything else. If you die in your car, you die in real life too.
Breaking the law sometime makes sense. Think of a person driving his pregnant wife or a injured person from an accident scene to the hospital.
You would always miss out something or leave something open for abusers, so, to some extent, common sense should prevail too.
Perfect enforcement would rapidly reduce the number of stupid and nonsensical laws on the books, that only exist so that the police can jail people after they have done something wrong/after they were targeted by the police or another influential person.
And if that doesn't turn out to be correct, we end up in a totalitarian regime.
Except if you run the bribing scheme, but in the greater scheme of things, there are more people not running the scheme than people running the scheme.
(Good news: industrious cops won't miss any traffic violation when their bonuses depend on it!)
Complaints about some wide boulevards where the city routinely ran speed traps probably played a role in spurring the mayor to increase the speed limits on some roads. Certainly that's better than having absurdly low speed limits that people ignore.
The police chief credits the widespread speed cameras for a reduction in traffic fatalities.
That said, I'm 100% for blocking-the-box cameras. It's a huge problem in DC that leads to cascading gridlock and pedestrians snaking through intersections.
All of this was originally intended to increase safety on the road but the funny thing is that instead of watching the road more, I'm busy watching my accelerometer.
Residential zones should be lowered to 20-25 MPH with traffic calming (which is far more effective than posted speed limits) and strictly enforced (e.g. 28 in 25 => ticket). 40/25 is actually much worse than 100/65 on the Interstate (in low traffic) although most people aren't aware of that.
Finally, speed limits should be dynamic. In non-residential areas, about +15 higher than they currently, but with a -10 to -20 modification for rain and even more for snow and ice.
Interstates should be raised to 80-90 MPH with points and insurance notification only happening if the officer can prove that the driver endangered others, such as by weaving, or exceeding the flow of traffic. (At +15 mph relative to average flow in the left lane, that would qualify.) Otherwise, the fine can stick but the points/insurance-hit vanish. 120 MPH on the highway, with the right car and a straight road, if there is no traffic on the road, is not that dangerous. It's still not worth it IMO-- I generally drive 75-80 when there is no traffic, because I don't see a point in high speed-- but the real danger is speed variance rather than raw speed.
Finally, people who drive in the left lane and are not passing should be ticketed (except when getting on or off a left exit). Lane inversion is dangerous. Passing on the right should generally be discouraged (but probably can't be outlawed given the number of slow cars in left lanes in the US). Warnings of left exits/entrances should be posted at least 3 miles out.
That's where you made a mistake. a) They want eg money from tickets. They don't care about "reasonable". b) In a meta level, rules don't work. How much AI did we get by rule based systems? Rules (laws) are strict. Reality is "fluid".
This is kind of like how the NSA knows about every crooked cop in America based on financial and voice/data traffic but decides not to tell anyone because it might upset people they know this.
"Because of the GPS units installed in Ford vehicles, Ford knows when many of its drivers are speeding, and where they are while they're doing it." He also said "I absolutely left the wrong impression about how Ford operates. We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent."
The iPhone in your pocket can do much more damage to you in terms of incriminating evidence than Ford can.
"We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone," he told attendees.
It doesn't matter on HN. This gives us an excuse to continue the ongoing privacy debate for hours. #NSA #CRIME #POLITICS #CONSPIRACYTHEORY
Think for a moment; why would he come on the record to state this and then back it down? Obviously, to protect the company! Its a PR stunt. Just like IRS learnt to scoop people's swimming pools that haven't been taxed via Google Earth, my bet is that the same way state/federalies are looking for extra places to milk you.
Everyone is speeding or sped at some point; the amount of money waiting to be collected must be humongous. Its just a matter of how they go retroactively with it. My bet is that they will make it "good news" that even if you speed 40 miles above, your license won't be suspended, we just gonna fine you $1,000. Can't pay? we leave it up to the IRS (the best mob to collect dues on the face of Earth).
But him coming out to say that is just introduction to "don't tell us later we haven't told u + you could opt out anytime by clicking some checkbox + we have to comply with Feds" combination.
Prepare for more.
I'm curious: How does the upload happen - In-built SIM? Who pays for the Data?
What the parent poster was asking is how Ford upload the derived location.
Correlate this data with accident black spots (insurance claims, type of accident, time of day etc).
You could even do route analysis and focus resources (e.g. a particular area has a large number of cars driving to schools and back, could a cycle/foot path help alleviate this).
This would be a fantastic set of data to get your hands on.
I propose a >2 std deviations = ticket rule. Instead of the current "we all know it's illegal but were only be a little illegal so it's ok", that defeats the point of having laws I think.
"Ford may use the vehicle information it collects, as well as information regarding individual access to Vehicle Health Reports at www.syncmyride.com for any purpose"
Hopefully that's not enforceable, but the judicial history with software licensing suggests that it would be.
Wow, those framers thought of everything.
Please pay attention. Things move fast around here.
>The contributory factor report in the official British road casualty statistics show for 2006, that "exceeding speed limit" was a contributory factor in 5% of all casualty crashes (14% of all fatal crashes)
I remember reading that about 10% of fatal crashes in Finland are caused by speeding.
Reference for jamming legality in the United States: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/jammer-enforcement
I have no idea how accessible they are on recent vehicles.