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When you get tired of waiting around for GM's response to the Miata. Check out Sniff Petrol. You might develop a sense of homour and realize that GM doesn't make good cars but Bob Lutz is eccentric enough to convince them they can. Just kidding. I just wanted you people to see the lighter side of car stuff on the net. Forums tend to get so serious sometimes.
 

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Seems slightly off topic... I wish we had a dedicatted forum for such things.
:rolleyes

It seems to me that people are just getting out of control on forums these days, not bothering to put a post in the correct forum.

The problem is really that forums are getting downright unserious, and we need to tighten up policies and enforcement before a riot breaks out.
 

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There is a place for such content. It's the Off Topic: General Off Topic section. We might seem a bit serious, but that's because we don't want complete chaos.
 

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dubrex said:
Sorry, I meant to post an article and pose a question on GM's "black box." How do prospective kappacar buyers feel about this device being placed in their car? Here is a ny times article on the subject http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/27/automobiles/27WALD.html
You make it sound like it's something specific to kappa. The article says millions of cars have or will have this technology.

Interesting article though, I never knew they were doing this. I guess they are tired of getting sued for stupid things. Now they can prove when it's the drivers fault.
 

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I'm pretty sure those devices have been in most, if not all GM cars for quite some time now. For some reason, 1996 comes to mind, but it may have been ever since OBDII came out even.
 

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dubrex said:
Sorry, I meant to post an article and pose a question on GM's "black box." How do prospective kappacar buyers feel about this device being placed in their car? Here is a ny times article on the subject http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/27/automobiles/27WALD.html
The problem with the "Black Box" as I understand it is, it records your driving habits, and when you take the car in for service at the dealer, they down load the info into a database. They can then sell this info on you to the insurance companies who can then better assess how much of a risk you are to them. Just something those that are thinking of building 300hp monster Solstices might want to think about. First mod: find the black box and yank it! :cheers
 

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I can't be bothered to sign up to read the article, but if it's what I think it is, similar to the one in F-series trucks, then I seen a show with law enforcement agency discussing it. What that particular device did was constantly update 4-6 seconds of data and then store it upon SRS activation. The law enforcement (if they had the retrieval device) could get a plot graph with speed, braking, etc.. for those seconds before impact. I believe Volvo has been collecting crash data for a long time to improve safety systems, but otherwise, I do not believe it's being used by OEMs.
 

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Darkhamr said:
I can't be bothered to sign up to read the article, but if it's what I think it is, similar to the one in F-series trucks, then I seen a show with law enforcement agency discussing it. What that particular device did was constantly update 4-6 seconds of data and then store it upon SRS activation. The law enforcement (if they had the retrieval device) could get a plot graph with speed, braking, etc.. for those seconds before impact. I believe Volvo has been collecting crash data for a long time to improve safety systems, but otherwise, I do not believe it's being used by OEMs.
Your right on about the black box! That is basically what the GM box does, although there may be some variances.

The black boxes get hooked through the airbag sensors. They continuously record a short time period of all the sensor data in the car, RPM's, MPH, abs status, pitch and yaw if so equipped, etc. If the airbags are deployed, it stores the data and won't record over it. The data recorders were added by GM to collect data on what is happening prior to a crash in an attempt to improve things like ABS brakes and such.

An consequence of this is that law enforcement agencies have been collecting this data as well to determine whether people reacted to an impending hazard, to see if they were obeying the speed limit. Things like that. People are blaming this on getting convictions, but I would imagine the crash reconstruction experts would be able to figure out if you were grossly over the speed limit anyway.

How do I feel about it? I do not like the car acting as an extension of big brother monitoring my driving habits. However, all cars will have these devices very soon and there is no way to hide from them. I guess the most prudent thing to do is not drive 125 MPH and get into a wreck! :smile
 

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This is not directed at anyone in particular:

I'll take the unpopular stance here and say that the black boxes are a good thing. Even if the conspiracy theorist, "Big Brother"-fearing paranoids are right that it will turn into another plot by the man to keep us down.

Sure, I don't like the theory that my insurance company could eventually track me via satellite and assess my driving habits as "dangerous." Personally, I doubt it would ever come to that.

But the flip side of that is that if some retard is driving 125 MPH in traffic, and causes an accident that maims or kills someone I love, I'd like to be able to use the data collected by that black box to nail his/her butt to the cross. Accident reconstructions aren't always air-tight. That data would just add more proof to the pudding, so to speak.

Then there's the fact that car manufacturers use that data to research contributing factors to accidents and traffic fatalities, then they can design safety measures accordingly. How is that a bad thing?

As it stands right now, these data recorders only record on a limited loop, and data is overwritten something like every 30 seconds (at the longest). As far as I know, there's no way for them to store data in the long term and assess your typical driving habits.

Like Fformula88 said, the trick is not to crash your car going 125. If you the data recorder shows that you were going excessively fast, swerving, at wide open throttle when you totaled your car, maybe your insurance company SHOULD refuse to cover you, depending on the other circumstances.
 

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I think the black box is how far it goes. Like anything, its all in how it is used. If a few people who where grossly over the speed limit (say 125) get caught and convicted... no big deal. They deserved it. However, what if your 10 MPH over and involved in an accident, or even 1 MPH over? How far does it go?

IMO this is the problem with the technology. If it becomes commonplace for law enforcement to use it, then it will be used for people who may have been slightly over the speed limit as well as those who are far over it. Someone doing 125 deserves what they get, but should someone doing 38 in a 35 be treated the same? I don't think they should be, but the law would treat them the same.

That is why people fear big brother. People who may have been operating their vehicle in a responsible manner could be screwed because of just a couple of MPH, and IMO that isn't right. But I don't see this technology going away either, so we are going to have to live with it.
 

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If it gets to that, I have faith in the aftermarket to develop a "black box spoofer" that'll basically sit between the sensors and the black box and dump any data that would indicate illegal activity.

I would hope that a few MPH over the speed limit wouldn't screw anyone, unless it can be proven that traffic was going the speed limit or below, which NEVER happens unless it's rush hour.

Of course we all know that there are several other factors that contribute to an accident besides just speed. I'm sure you use speed in your example for simplicity. The data recorder has the ability to monitor dozens of parameters that could come into play. Things like throttle position, ABS or even simply braking force (and along with that individual wheel speeds), yaw and steering angle in cars equipped with stability control, following distance in cars equipped with adaptive cruise control... you get the idea. And each parameter is tracked for several seconds prior to the point of impact (as determined by the computer).

The way I see it, they can only help determine what was truly going on prior to the accident.

Hypothetical situation: If some knucklehead (in a car equipped with ESP and adaptive cruise control) is tailgaiting me in heavy traffic going the speed limit or slower, then rearends me because he's on his cell phone and not paying attention, I'd like to be able to show that his following distance was 9 feet at 50 MPH, and he didn't apply his brakes at all. In a situation like that, the data recorder in my car could even be used in my defense to prove that I didn't just slam on my brakes for no good reason. The data from my adaptive cruise control sensors could show that I applied my brakes progressively harder when the following distance to the car in front of me started rapidly decreasing.

Yeah, insurance companies would LOVE to see that sort of data, and I'd like to have that data to show my insurance co. that I wasn't at fault.
 

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2KWK4U said:
If it gets to that, I have faith in the aftermarket to develop a "black box spoofer" that'll basically sit between the sensors and the black box and dump any data that would indicate illegal activity.
Yeah, but then they would just make that a criminal offense, like ripping the tag of your mattress. :lol
 
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