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EU Parliament Adopts eCall Resolution

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

EU 212

arisvega writes with news that the European Parliament has pass a resolution in support of eCall, an initiative to install devices in vehicles that automatically contact emergency services in the event of a crash. The resolution calls on the European Condition to make it mandatory for all new cars starting in 2015. "The in-vehicle eCall system uses 112 emergency call technology to alert the emergency services automatically to the location of serious road accidents. This should save lives and reduce the severity of injuries by enabling qualified and equipped paramedics to get to the scene within the first “golden hour” of the accident, says the resolution. The eCall system could save up to 2,500 lives a year and reduce injury severity by 10 to 15%, it adds."

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212 comments

Sounds like a great idea. (3, Insightful)

gfm (79509) | about 2 years ago | (#40538001)

Considering all of the crazy technology we have in even the cheapest modern cars, it is amazing something like this isn't commonplace outside of high end systems like OnStar by now. Would love to see this in the US too.

OnStar is a bug (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538211)

They can silently listen in on you. Court filings have shown that this is in fact being done. Merely having the hardware provides this ability; you need not be a subscriber. (thus I refuse to buy a vehicle with OnStar)

Re:OnStar is a bug (2, Interesting)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538395)

Well, we could stifle technological progress in order to prevent things like this. Just think of all the privacy we'd have if electricity had been outlawed at the start!

Or, we could apply a system of checks and balances to address the root issue, which is that privacy is being violated, regardless of the means.

Re:OnStar is a bug (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538403)

They can silently listen in on you. Court filings have shown that this is in fact being done. Merely having the hardware provides this ability; you need not be a subscriber. (thus I refuse to buy a vehicle with OnStar)

citation needed.

Re:OnStar is a bug (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538499)

"citation needed."

Look it up yourself you lazy cunt.

I'm sick of you lazy fucktards who cannot be bothered to spend 10 seconds on Google.

Re:OnStar is a bug (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40538531)

Translation: I don't want everyone to know that I frequent conspiracy theorist sites.

Re:OnStar is a bug (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538677)

This was all over the news, and is a matter of public record. Do some googling, you'd have to be a conspiracy theorist to claim that it isn't true given the volume of consistent coverage by reputable publications, up to and including the New York Times.

Re:OnStar is a bug (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#40538707)

"citation needed."

Look it up yourself you lazy cunt.

I'm sick of you lazy fucktards who cannot be bothered to spend 10 seconds on Google.

Hell no. If I had to go and google every crackpot theory every retard on the internet cites as fact I'd never get anything done. Why don't you spend 10 seconds pasting a link and save everyone else the time. This has the added bonus that when we see that your citation is theonion.com we can laugh at you instead of wasting time reading it.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (and potty mouth retorts don't count as evidence, no matter how many expletives you might use).

I should add that I am fully prepared to believe that your claims might be true, they certainly sound plausible, but i'm not going to waste time listening to the ramblings of some AC that was too lazy to provide evidence and too gutless to put their name to them.

Re:OnStar is a bug (3, Informative)

MachDelta (704883) | about 2 years ago | (#40538835)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnStar#Use_as_surveillance_device [wikipedia.org]
Short version: It's possible in theory, but the design is supposed to guarantee several forms of notification (both visible and audible) if someone is listening in. If you had physical access to the vehicle, you could disable the notifications though. So in crack-pot theory land, it's doable; in reality, it probably hasn't and won't ever happen.

IAAFM (former mechanic), and yes I had heard of this when OnStar was introduced. Now you two play nice :)

Re:OnStar is a bug (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40539125)

OnStar says it can't be done, yet the FBI was granted a warrant to do exactly that [cnet.com] . On appeal the 9th circuit determined that issuing the warrant was improper. So, who do I believe, the FBI (for whom the information is adverse) and the courts, or OnStar who would obviously like to tell us it isn't possible?

Weighing those sources, I'm more inclined to believe it can be done.

OnStar does admit that they get tracking data even when the call button isn't pressed and that they can do so even if you cancel the service. Bottom line, if you want privacy in your vehicle, remove the OnStar system.

I am also a former mechanic though I stuck to small engines and commercial trucks..

Re:OnStar is a bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538855)

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1029_3-5109435.html

Re:OnStar is a bug (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539311)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/03/11/20/1413237/roadside-assistance-system-used-for-eavesdropping
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/03/12/29/2358236/onstar-considered-harmful

This has been discussed here before, links have been posted. It's been on the news, it's been in the court systems, ruling have been made. There is nothing extraordinary about the claim at this point, it's established fact. As stated, you're simply being stubborn and lazy, and we shouldn't have to constantly repeat ourselves.

Here are some "crackpot theory" sites to get you started.
http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20041127/news_lz1d27onstar.html
http://news.cnet.com/2100-1029_3-5109435.html
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/12/auditory_eavesd.html

Again, 10 seconds on Google and you'd have figured this out for yourself. It's one thing to ask for citations on a new issue, but this has been hashed out for months now. Pull your head out of your ass, cunt.

Re:OnStar is a bug (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538751)

They can silently listen in on you. Court filings have shown that this is in fact being done. Merely having the hardware provides this ability; you need not be a subscriber. (thus I refuse to buy a vehicle with OnStar)

citation needed.

you're a stupid nigger

Re:OnStar is a bug (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40538695)

I see no reason you couldn't buy one with OnStar. A few simple cut wires should disable it.

Re:OnStar is a bug (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#40538905)

Have you ever looked at the wiring of a car made in the last 5 years? There are so many wires going to so many places you need a mechanic's manual specific to that model/year of car (usually you can only buy "packages" of manuals, and NOT for cheap!), a box of wire labels and a continuity tester with 10 feet of wire on it. Then you have to start removing all the corrugated wire-wrap, zip-ties, black-box wire management modules and wiring harnesses and that car companies seem to have a fetish for. Good Luck!

Not a fetish (3, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#40538975)

Modern wiring harnesses are designed to be (a) fast to assemble and disassemble) (b) reliable (c) as foolproof as possible, hence the different connectors. Those of us with long memories can recall when cars had hardly any wiring at all, yet it was always going wrong (cables frayed, bullet connectors pulled, contacts corroded, mechanics connected the wrong wire during a service and nobody noticed till the brakes started the indicators flashing).

Re:Not a fetish (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40539183)

Yes, but that design is focused on assembly rather than on modification or repair. If you are altering the factory wiring (by disconnecting OnStar), it can be a real pain.

Besides that, why would I want to pay for the hardware that I never in a million years want active and help them fluff up their sales figures?

If I find myself in the market for a new car, I will let them know that including OnStar is a deal breaker.

Actually, I don't remember cars from the '60s having many problems with wiring (other than British cars). The key was to not let a mechanic mess with it.

Re:Sounds like a great idea. (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40538829)

OnStar really isn't highend, it's standard on all GM cars. A lot of dealerships will install a compatible unit if you ask them for it too. Hell you can go down to your local Bestbuy(yeah I know) and buy the stand alone unit for your car actually. They sell it aftermarket for $299, [usatoday.com] though, it's now apparently $99 and then it's $18.95/mo for the service or $199/yr.

Re:Sounds like a great idea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539273)

Considering all of the crazy technology we have in even the cheapest modern cars, it is amazing something like this isn't commonplace outside of high end systems like OnStar by now. Would love to see this in the US too.

Screw that. The last thing we need is several hundred thousand reports of collisions next time a big hail storm blows through the midwest.

STUPID (-1, Flamebait)

icandodat (799666) | about 2 years ago | (#40538023)

Gimme a break. every fucking accident results in 20 emergency calls; now it will be 22. Who the fuck needs this? Some asshole politician's cousin that has a business making emergency call car phones that's who. Piss on it.

Re:STUPID (4, Informative)

gfm (79509) | about 2 years ago | (#40538029)

Every accident that happens in the middle of the day on the freeway results in 20 emergency calls (and the response system is more than adequate to deal with this fact). Accidents that happen on a dark windy road in the dead of night? Not so much.

Re:STUPID (2)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#40538761)

That was my first thought too, but in a lot of cases (in Australia at least) reception on those back roads is pretty ordinary at best, and would likely drop to nothing when upside-down in a ditch, so i'm wondering about the usefulness of this idea... it would certainly have it's uses but if the primary use-case is the "upside down in a ditch on a back road" then i'm not so sure.

Re:STUPID (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538051)

You're a fucking moron, but I guess you know that already.

Re:STUPID (1)

kdemetter (965669) | about 2 years ago | (#40538229)

So you are angry because people care enough to call 911 ?

Re:STUPID (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#40538313)

So you are angry because people care enough to call 911 ?

He's angry because poo-poo'ing something routinely gets you the word "insightful" next to your comment and it didn't occur to him before the mad rush to hit the 'post' button that a more solid complaint would be about privacy/tracking.

This is what the Slashdot moderation system buys you.

Re:STUPID (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40538537)

That's because the guys at the top of the pole keep giving simpering morons with the intellectual capacity of used toilet paper mod points. That, of course, and sociopathic Libertarians, but I repeat myself.

Not quite right... (0)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#40539017)

Once a dysfunctional group gets any power at all, it leverages it. Mildly sociopathic Libertarians manage to get mod points, mod up less mild sociopaths, and before long the monkeys have the key of the banana plantation as they all mod one another up in a circular hell (the reference is to Huis Clos by Sartre). Apply this to your own specific interest group. (Note to Libertarians: if you mod me down you are betraying your own principles. Cognitive dissonance is your friend here.)

Re:STUPID (4, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538303)

Try to remember this post when you're upside-down in a ditch with two broken arms at 3 AM on a country road.

Me? I'll gladly pay $500 extra dollars per car even if only one in a hundred people ever go through that experience. I know a hundred people, and I don't think any of them should spend a minute more in that ditch than they have to.

Re:STUPID (0, Troll)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about 2 years ago | (#40538391)

Fine, pay for your own service. Don't fucking mandate that we all must purchase it. Are there fines if you disconnect your emergency tracking beacon?

Re:STUPID (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538533)

Fine, pay for your own service.

The same argument could be made for seat belts. In both cases it ignores the fact that an accident affects not only the people inside the vehicle but also everyone who who wants to use the road and the public services aren't free either. So it isn't difficult to make an argument that if you're going to drive a heavy box of metal at high speeds you should take a few steps to minimize damage.

And if you're worried about being tracked I hope you don't use a cellphone. Still, the thing should be required to not track anyone, or be open-source.

Re:STUPID (-1, Troll)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about 2 years ago | (#40538647)

You're right, PUBLIC services aren't FREE. We have to pay for them, don't we? Well, I certainly don't want to pay for your accident. I already have to pay for other people's accidents all the time. It's nice how MY money takes care of you and yours... While I'm certainly not perfect, in 15 years of driving I've never managed to be involved in an accident. Being aware of your surroundings, and what others are doing is so much better than winding up in the same situation they're in. That helps minimize the damage of driving a heavy box of metal. Actually knowing how to drive responsibly and not aggressive helps too. Unfortunately we let just about anybody drive these days, 70+ year old people who refuse to do the speed limit and drive 10-20 miles under the limit, to immature 16 year old kids who think their new sports car daddy bought them is hot shit and can smoke anybody on the road. Instilling ethics, morals, and responsibility into our nations' people is so hard, let's just give up and track them all because they're too fucking stupid to take care of themselves...

Re:STUPID (3, Interesting)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538821)

Your argument seems to be based around the idea that it's impossible for you to ever be aided by this service. Instead of castigating you for your unrecognized selfishness, I'll try to appeal to it. First though, we need to at least attempt to break through your self-deception, because a rational conversation isn't possible with it. If I fail, well, at least I tried.

Have you ever encountered black ice? If you haven't, talk to someone who has, whose opinion you trust. If such a person exists, you'll find out that sometimes, it hits, and there is absolutely no way you could have avoided it short of never driving, ever. If it forms just right, you can't see it, period, not with three extra eyes and binoculars. If it forms on a turn, and you hit it, your car will slide, and there is no amount of driving skill that will prevent it, not even if you were the best driver that ever lived. Physics and all that jazz.

And there's all those other idiots on the road, too. What if that hot shit drops his joint in his lap and jerks the wheel just as you're passing, running his car into your lane at the last possible instant causing a head-on collision and knocking you both out? I know you're a magnificent driver, but daddy's money bought little Mr. Hot-Shit a car that turns faster than yours, and the random jerking of the wheel happened to replicate a perfect turn that pushed that car to the limit of its lateral grip, so no matter how astounding your reflexes and command of the machine you pilot, the immutable laws of the universe are dictating a crash. Even though you're perfect, you can't react to something before it happens, provided you're a believer in free will.

So now that we've established that even though you're perfect (and you are), it could still happen to you, what's the price you're willing to pay to drastically reduce the chance that you die, or perhaps just lose a leg? I know you've got a price, since you've made that your argument. I guess $500 isn't worth it to you. I'm curious. What is?

Re:STUPID (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538901)

Even though you're perfect, you can't react to something before it happens, provided you're a believer in free will.

Not believing in free will doesn't give you more predictive power. Indeed, even if the observable universe were completely deterministic, you couldn't completely predict it for the simple reason that you are part of it and therefore cannot have complete information about it.

Re:STUPID (0)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about 2 years ago | (#40539193)

No, I said I'm not perfect. If you didn't get that concept, maybe you need to go back to sku sku sku school, where they seem to have failed to teach our current sheep herd the most basic principles needed to get by in life, but some how managed to pass them through grade after grade until they got out into the real world. Woe is the general tax payer who actually has to pay for them and theirs...

Do you have any idea what it's like to listen to somebody read out loud and struggle to make it through a few paragraphs in a story because they can't fucking read? Did you know these same people are driving on our streets, unable to read or comprehend the guidelines motorists need to know? Oh wait, we're all winners, nobody is behind the curve...

Yes! Absolutely this technology could save my life! Do I want it in my vehicle? NO! Not until the day I decide I want it. At that time I can call On Star, provided by Government Motors.

I don't have to cost the government, YOU and other taxpayers, a dime! I don't have insurance. Why? I'm not married and I don't have any children. Who would benefit? Well insurance companies for one, and now if I still don't buy insurance I get fined / taxed (however you see it) thanks to Obamacare. Yep, I decide not to be a burden to society while I pay for those that do. Funny how what I worked for doesn't benefit me, but takes care of somebody else.

Fuck that!

Re:STUPID (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538535)

If it were up to me, no there wouldn't be fines if you voluntarily disconnect the beacon, provided you notify your passengers that you're taking on more than the minimum possible amount of responsibility for their lives because you'd rather live off the grid than address the issue of corruption that motivates your desire to live off the grid, and you feel that your desire to take the easy way out is more important than the possibility of their avoidable death.

The problem you seem to be having trouble with is that you live in a society. If more people, or a few more powerful people than you, want something different than what you want... well, I think you can see where this is going. I'd say that if you don't like the society you're in you should form your own, but there just ain't a lot of empty spaces on this planet anymore. As the song says, you can't always get what you want.

Re:STUPID (1, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40538549)

Fine, die in the ditch. If I was buying a car for one of my kids, I'd pretty much insist it be there, but for you, I'd gladly see you bleed to death because of your bizarre version of "principles" (which is really more likely undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia).

Re:STUPID (2)

TrimTabTim (2671411) | about 2 years ago | (#40538659)

If you bore the entire costs of your stupidity i wouldn't care if you lived or died dude.

But when shaving an hour off the medical response time to reach you could reduce the severity of your spinal injury, and save the public millions in slashing your long term care costs - it does become a public problem. 1. You don't cost anyone money when you are healthy. 2. You are only free to be stupid only when we - your fellow humans on earth - aren't on the hook to pay the price for your actions.

Otherwise chill and be cool: Wear your seat belt. Don't murder people. Don't steal things. Get insurance. Don't become a paraplegic. These things all mitigate the possible harm you can cause ME. Your freedom must not come at the expense of mine, and it does damage my freedoms when I must pay higher insurance rates and taxes to pay for your sorry ass.

Re:STUPID (0)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about 2 years ago | (#40538729)

WTF do you think I'm talking about? I'm trying to save you untold thousands over the course of your natural working years in life. Do you have any idea how many people and how much new equipment it will take to answer all of these "emergency" calls that may be nothing more than some dumb ass who backed into his own garage door? My long term medical costs are only covered if I CHOOSE to ask the government for assistance because of my current position. My lack of insurance usually means I won't be able to get long term help unless I make that choice. I'm a fucking white male. That fact alone means I most likely won't see the light of day from behind the wall of paper work and red tape that would be thrown up in my face. Gotta take care of the fucking illegals and minorities first. So I don't have the obsessive need to live like most people... So sue me, and get your money's worth before the government takes it all...

Re:STUPID (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538425)

Try to remember this post when you're upside-down in a ditch with two broken arms at 3 AM on a country road.

Me? I'll gladly pay $500 extra dollars per car even if only one in a hundred people ever go through that experience. I know a hundred people, and I don't think any of them should spend a minute more in that ditch than they have to.

I know a few people who could use some time in a ditch.

Re:STUPID (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#40538635)

I know 100 people who need to spend some time in a ditch *smacks fist into hand*.

You know this is just an excuse to install a GPS in every car. Then once they've done that, automatic speed enforcement! Bam!

Re:STUPID (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#40538731)

I know 100 people who need to spend some time in a ditch *smacks fist into hand*.

You know this is just an excuse to install a GPS in every car. Then once they've done that, automatic speed enforcement! Bam!

Yeah that would be pretty cool - having the traffic flowing smoothly at the same speed instead of some people doing 20 under in the fast lane and "important people" weaving in and out of traffic at 20 over the limit.

I don't know why but driving seems to stress me out more and more as I get older.

Re:STUPID (2)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#40538941)

There have been tests with automatic speed enforcement, and the subjects said it was very relaxing to not be able to go faster than the speed limit.

Re:STUPID (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539093)

Dear STUPID,

Glad to see you agree to oppose it.

2500 lives per year / 500 000 000 people in the EU * (generously) 100 years = .05% (i.e. 1 in 2000 since you're obviously mathematically impaired)

But if YOU want to pay $500 extra for every car manufactured, I won't stop you.

Re:STUPID (2)

scsirob (246572) | about 2 years ago | (#40539111)

Although you are being ridiculed, I think you are right. It is damn near impossible to have an accident and not having ten or more witnesses. The cost is prohibitive and the privacy impact possibilities are scary. I for one will be happy to give the GPS antenna required for this system a tin foil hat.

The claims of 'up to' 2500 lives means that in reality it will be half of that at best. The EU has 500.000.000 inhabitants. "Possibly" saving 1000 is 0.00002% change in mortality rate. That means the money would be a lot better spent on fighting cancer, obesity or other life-threatening diseases.

I've got an idea (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#40538039)

We could save hundreds of thousands more lives if we just banned cars.

(If you're reading this from Brussels, don't make this the next "European Policy Initiative".)

Re:I've got an idea (3, Insightful)

kdemetter (965669) | about 2 years ago | (#40538259)

Actyally : less cars wouldn't be a bad idea to reduce the amount of accidents ( a lot of accidents happen due to traffic jams ).
But it doesn't need to be forced : ensure good public transportation, and people will use that instead of their cars.

Re:I've got an idea (-1, Offtopic)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#40538433)

Public transportation is polluting as well. What we really need is to level all the cities and return to a complete agrarian lifestyle, where we live off the land we plow, and don't know anybody that is more than a days walk away from us. Greenpeace FTW!

Re:I've got an idea (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about 2 years ago | (#40538753)

Agrarian lifestyles are very damaging for the environment - fields, irrigation, livestock (especially goats) etc. Hunter/Gather FTW!

Re:I've got an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539207)

Hunter/Gatherer life styles are harmful to levels of other species which has a knock on effect on the environment. We need to genetically engineer a predator that preys on humans and introduce it into the food chain.

Re:I've got an idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538929)

Public transportation is polluting as well.

So you are saying that accidents are caused by pollution? Because the post you replied to was speaking about accidents, not about pollution.

Oh wait, I understand. You didn't really care about what he wrote, you just wanted to take the chance to whine about the evil environmentalists.

Re:I've got an idea (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40538441)

This could easily be encourage by adjusting taxes so that companies pay more for on site workers than they do for telecommuters. Currently, the employees pay the full burden of the cost of commuting. This leads most companies to take a no telecommuting stance, since it brings unknown risk with little to no reward. Make the cost/reward situation better for businesses that promote telecommuting and you reduce the number of cars on the road while improving the quality of life of the populace.

Re:I've got an idea (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40538357)

We really should do this, starting with the largest cities. Start with the largest vehicles and work your way down, adding in public transportation as cars are eliminated. I really love to drive, right until I get into some shitty city where you can't do it meaningfully anyway. And cities are fucking horrible really, but they would be wonderful without the cars. The "freedom" of driving is largely illusory. Your car can be taken away from you at the drop of a hat and even if you get it back without paying anything you're not going to get anything for the time you spent without it.

Re:I've got an idea (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#40539279)

Quite some cities (Amsterdam, Enschede and Den Haag in The Netherlands come to mind) do just that already. They build a large car park at the edge of the city, at the exit of the motorway, and run cheap and frequent shuttle buses or trams to the city centre.

If you really want you're still allowed to enter the city by car, but if you want to park it in the centre you have to deal with higher parking fees if you can find a place to park; traffic jams; and trying to find your way (most cities' street plans resemble a maze). Most of these transferiums as they're called are quite successful.

Every passing motorist already calls emerg. svcs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538085)

All this will do is add to the burden of emergency responder call centers.
They are already getting calls from everyone else around there. The only
people it will save are those who crash with nobody else around.

That might save 2,500 people in all of Europe in the next 10 years.

Far better if they prevented idiots from getting behind the wheel. That would
save many more lives.

M

Re:Every passing motorist already calls emerg. svc (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538255)

Even better than that, let's just make everyone immortal! Problem solved!

Re:Every passing motorist already calls emerg. svc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538361)

Even better than that, let's just make everyone immortal! Problem solved!

Given the fact a dead cannot die a second time, I suggest we kill every motorist. Or ask them politely to commit suicide.

Re:Every passing motorist already calls emerg. svc (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#40538257)

The only
people it will save are those who crash with nobody else around.

I've never been to Europe but I have trouble imagining it looks like Coruscant.

Re:Every passing motorist already calls emerg. svc (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40538741)

The big cities do. The biggest cities in the US are still only a couple of centuries old - they were planned carefully, and during most of their growth designed to accomodate cars. European cities, though, can be millenia old and inhereted road layouts optimised for walking. So while the cities of the US are usually built to a grid plan, the cities of Europe resemble a bowl of spagetti.

Re:Every passing motorist already calls emerg. svc (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40539229)

they were planned carefully

No, they weren't planned at all in many cases. The older cities have been retrofit for cars in-town. The newer cities were built with cars in mind but with little or no planning.

The local legend here is that a plow was harnessed to a wild hog. Where he plowed, they paved.

Re:Every passing motorist already calls emerg. svc (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40538737)

Far better if they prevented idiots from getting behind the wheel. That would save many more lives.

It would but the only realistic way to do that is to perfect driverless cars (which not many people would object to), then make the use compulsory (which a lot of people would object to).

Think of the children... and of the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538147)

Ma-ma-ma-ma-massive potential!!1

Every car has one? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538203)

Therefore every car has GPS. Therefore tracking every car, including yours, is trivial. The motive only appears to be altruistic.

Re:Every car has one? (2)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538243)

You are advocating luddism as a solution to a social problem. The social problem being that "they" think they have a right to track other people. Until you address that, you're just playing whack-a-mole, and with every smack of the hammer denying society access to the technology that's being used against it.

Re:Every car has one? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#40538369)

You wouldn't give a gun to someone you know is going to shoot you with it,
then claim their desire to kill you is a social problem,
and that being anti-gun is luddism.

Enabling mass tracking and surveillance of the citizenry is like handing a loaded gun to someone you know will use it.

Re:Every car has one? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40538505)

Well, if we're making up hypothetical situations...

If I needed somebody to protect me while I slept, I wouldn't give the gun to the person who wanted to kill me, I'd give it to someone who wanted to protect me. Even if my gun is the only gun in the world, and I destroy the gun, the person who wants to kill me will just do it with a knife. If I keep it for myself because I trust no one, they'll just kill me while I sleep. Truth be told, I'd rather be shot than stabbed, or strangled.

The problem is not the gun. The problem is that somebody wants to kill me. And I'm saying that if the people we would give this technology to will use it against us, we should replace those people with people who want to use it to help us, because my gun isn't the only gun in the world. The technology exists, that's a hard fact. The only question is how it's used.

Re:Every car has one? (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#40539299)

If it were the US government I'd be very sceptic indeed; the EU parliament is a lot better when it comes to privacy. I'm sure it's not that hard to design these things in a way that does not allow them to be used for surveillance or tracking.

Re:Every car has one? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#40538379)

Therefore every car has GPS. Therefore tracking every car, including yours, is trivial. The motive only appears to be altruistic.

Huh? I was convinced my GPS unit only receives (no, I don't use my mobile as a GPS). When did they start to emit?

Re:Every car has one? (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 years ago | (#40538693)

Huh? I was convinced my GPS unit only receives (no, I don't use my mobile as a GPS). When did they start to emit?

GPS units in general can be (and often are) receive-only, but of course if you want your car to automatically notify the authorities when you get into a bad accident, then the car will also need to be able send a signal to the authorities.

Re:Every car has one? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40538757)

The GPS module only receieves, but this system also needs the ability to call for help in the event of an accident, which means it needs a mobile phone network interface as well. Same thing with onstar: GPS says where, but the cellphone net provides communication both ways.

Re:Every car has one? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40538763)

Therefore every car has GPS. Therefore tracking every car, including yours, is trivial. The motive only appears to be altruistic.

An one of these people who thinks that GPS sends signals to the satellites. GPS doesn't work that way [si.edu] , it only receives signals.

Re:Every car has one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538987)

It should be trivial to make this device in a way that it only sends when an accident occurs. It would also be an advantage for mobile phone companies because otherwise all those devices would needlessly clog their towers.

Best for supervision of all traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538249)

Just add telecommunication data retention for mobile phones (the on board unit), the possibility to switch on the device from the remote and your car isnt a private place any more but perfectly supervised by state secret service...

They know where your drive, when, and can switch on the device to listen to all what you are talking...

mod dOwn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538277)

Are a few ggod numbers. The loos for a living got

Great (1)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about 2 years ago | (#40538367)

One of the many reasons I don't own a cell phone is so I don't have to worry about being tracked or listened to. 99.9% of the conversations I have on the phone are at work and only have to do with work. I know I'm not the only one holding out on buying a cell phone, for whatever reason. So, we'll have GPS in every car... Mandated... Once we accept the need, because of emergency, we'll soon be forced to deal with the realities of being tracked where ever our vehicle goes. It takes 30 minutes to get to work by car. I smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. A bicycle is a little out of the question... I guess I'll just have to start rebuilding cars that predate the mandate and are excluded. Cash for clunkers seemed like such a great idea at the time... Also, how do they plan to offset the expense of paying more medics to be on call, the increase in the number of ambulances needed, the number of cops that have to show up to the scene of an accident that might have happened on public property, where they can't even do anything if nobody was injured... We're already having a hard enough time paying our public servants to deal with the shit they already have to deal with. And who gets the contract to supply all these devices? Will they be manufactured in China with compromised chips like we're seeing with so many of our current electronics? You guys are already being video taped everywhere you go, and now your car will have GPS... How easy it will be for investigators to consider anybody to be a suspect that was in the general area a crime occurred? It sounds like it would be good for police because they could narrow the suspects down to just a select few to begin with, but do you want to possibly be harassed by the police for something that didn't involve you in any way? We already have plenty of people who are being found innocent of crimes they supposedly committed 15 or 20 years ago. I say fuck your tracking. As many citizens as possible should remove their bullshit mandated tracking devices and refuse to pay inspection taxes until they retract this law. A government run with no money. Too bad I didn't think of it first...

That's awfully Anti-Republican Of You (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538377)

It wont fly here in the US of A. We have God to protect us from you socialists ideals. And Mitt, the demo-god of the GOP. And G stands for God, dammit!

Re:That's awfully Anti-Republican Of You (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538463)

It wont fly here in the US of A. We have God to protect us from you socialists ideals. And Mitt, the demo-god of the GOP. And G stands for God, dammit!

God Old Party? Sounds about right.

Same thing but in the U.S... (4, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 2 years ago | (#40538399)

"The in-vehicle eCall system uses 911 emergency call technology to alert the police automatically to the location of the smell of marijuana. This should aid in the war on drugs and reduce terrorism by enabling qualified and equipped homeland security agents to get to the scene within the "golden hour" of the first toke, says the resolution. The eCall system could save up to 2,500 politicians jobs a year and reduce corruption inquiries by 10 to 15%, it adds."

Re:Same thing but in the U.S... (1)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about 2 years ago | (#40538435)

But if you're smoking out of a pipe shaped like a gun they have to run and hide and call the real police...

Re:Same thing but in the U.S... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40538581)

If you get ever slighty sassy with them they have to run and hide and call the real police...

worthless rent-a-cops

it will about balance itself (2)

jarkus4 (1627895) | about 2 years ago | (#40538555)

I guess it may help some people that crash in some remote place in the night (so basically where none would report it anyway).
Unfortunately it solves pretty much the wrong problem. The biggest issue with help is not that it is not notified in time, but that it cant arrive in time. There is not enough ambulances and they often have to travel vast distance to help. Adding new source of calls wont help.
Whats more they will now get more distracting calls from accidents that are resolved by participants or cops (no serious injuries - sensors cant tell about this) or even completely bogus from defective cars, so the ambulances will move around needlessly at some times (likely failing to help some extra people due to extra distance).

cue fearmongering in 3... 2... (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#40538563)

Allow me to sum up the first 5000 or so comments:

  • The sky is falling! They want to track us all! It's an evil government scheme for total surveilance! You are going to be monitored, it's Big Brother all over again. I thought it was 2012 and not 1984?
  • What for? Nobody ever gets into a car crash with nobody else around, especially in Europe. It's all a ploy by car manufacturers to sell something we don't need for a huge markup. Follow the money!
  • I don't want that in my car! The RF/EM/ESP/GPS/energy emissions will cause cancer! It's an evil alien ploy to... I don't know. Where's my tinfoil hat?

Oh yeah, it's an evil conspiracy. Sure. "They" will monitor every car in the world through this, because... uh... no idea.

Funny how geeks have become innovation-phobic. It used to be the other way around.

Re:cue fearmongering in 3... 2... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#40539099)

Hilarious.

Insurance companies will use the data from these devices to get out of paying for insurance claims, regardless of fault.

"So the other party was drunk, texting on their phone while applying make-up, driving 20MPH over the speed limit and also getting 'satisfaction' from his partner? Well I'm certainly sorry, but the log shows you didn't indicate on your approach to the junction. You could have avoided this whole thing. We're not paying for your medical costs or the damage to your car. Sorry to hear you can't walk anymore."

A little melodramatic maybe, but don't pretend it won't happen.

Re:cue fearmongering in 3... 2... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539257)

Or maybe it's, "Funny how geeks, who have a good grasp of technology, can see the implications of it's implementation"?

Also, we pay attention enough to see that the past actions of most governments result in steady eroding of our rights.

No, what am I saying? We must all suddenly be Luddites.

Awesome (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40538567)

who's going to pay for it?

Re:Awesome (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40538853)

In a cheap, $10,000 car, this will probably add less than $100 to the final price.

So you will, if you buy a car in Europe.

Re:Awesome (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40538909)

what about service? radio aint free anymore

Re:Awesome (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#40539197)

Use the emergency call service of any available mobile network.

Already when your phone is without SIM, or when you don't have your home network or a roaming network available, it will use any other available network to allow for emergency calls. This one as it's automatic will likely use SMS service, maybe data.

All this system needs to have is a GPS receiver and a SIM-less mobile phone, both are cheap. Add an impact detection (link to the air bags?) and have the whole thing ruggedised, and you're set.

There's an app for that . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#40538697)

. . . if the motion detector registers serious jolts or shaking that could only be the results of an accident, it automatically calls 112. Just remember to turn it off when you engage is any extreme sports. Hell, why not just plug your phone into the car, and let the car use your own phone to do the calling?

I hate it when devices are made mandatory. They always end up being piss-poor quality, designed by bureaucrat committees. If private companies can offer these things instead, with no "must" behind it, they will come up with something cheap that folks will buy on their own. Look at car GPS navigation systems, and think about what they might have looked like, if a government decided how they were to be built. Hurl.

I think the EU Parliament must be located in some sleazy Amsterdam space cake bar. Strong shit you get there . . .

Re:There's an app for that . . . (1)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#40538999)

ABS (anti lock brakes) are also mandatory in cars here, and seatbelts. They usually work, because they are nod designed by the government. Why would the goventment design them? They just mandate some technology that does something, and let the manufacturers figure out how to make that.

European Union Parliament... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538699)

Do they have a single federal government now? I'm confused, I thought European states hadn't yet completely lost their minds and decided to have a single government that could override their individual governments and bully them and push them around... if Europe is looking at the United State of America (yes, State, singular...) as an example of how to run a successful conglomerate nation/state, perhaps they should wait and see, since our nation is not that old yet, and being as it is in a state of flux, (from sovereign states consenting to be led to a national government that regards the formerly sovereign states as slaves to be commanded) the US of A is not a finished product, but a work in progress. However, though many might consider me, for writing this, one of the right-wing cry-babies throwing a now four-year long temper-tantrum over having a Kenyan (or more realistically, half-Kenyan) president, (I'm not...) I am warning you now, Europe.

The thing that made the American system work as long as it did, and survive and prosper as it has seemed to, was two fold. First, the autonomy of the individual states kept power away from the federal government when technology hadn't evolved to the point where the differential in power between the individual whose sovereign power the power of the federal government derives from (ostensibly with his CONSENT) has become so many orders of magnitude different... that power has been GRABBED, and is forever lost, since the federal government will never return it, and another successful revolution would be impossible at this point... (remember the largest contributing factors in the success of the original American Revolution were distance and apathy). Second, this nation stole most of its wealth from the blood, sweat and tears first of Native Americans, then later of African slaves. Since those resources were absorbed and extracted, that wealth has been floating around in the system, but has slowly been squandered and spent on energy... it's running low, and we don't really have the means to replace it. America was doing okay, more or less, when it was a largely agrarian nation, and now that so few things are made in the US anymore, (compared to the ratio of things made domestically to imports during and after the industrial revolution, before globalization,) now that we're returning to a system in which the bulk of our collective income comes from farming the land we stole, our level of prosperity will be limited to what we can reap from the Earth, which isn't going to be enough to sustain the extravagant lifestyle to which our nation has become accustomed.

Having a world-conquering super-military, skyscrapers going up in every major metropolitan area, by the dozens, having multiple companies building mega-yachts catering to a large, parasitic upper-crust of society has become a dream (of the upper-crust's) that we will not be able to sustain. Much of the financial trouble in the world today comes from the super-rich hoarding what's left of the money, extracting through financial shenanigans money from various economies, including the US, without actually increasing the value. By way of explanation, if someone buys a portion of a company, and either through manipulation or just good guesswork, holds those shares until their value has substantially increased, then sells them, pocketing the difference between purchase and sale prices, he has exploited the system of private ownership of companies, to become richer, (he has more money,) despite the fact that he has personally done NOTHING WHATSOEVER to add value to that company. Where'd the money he pocketed come from? Basically, he stole it.

You could argue back that he added value by providing, though his investment, capital that the company used to operate... but first off, the person who sold it had already done that... they already had the capital, so what the hell did it matter who owned those shares? How did the person who bought and sold it contribute a penny to the running of that business? He didn't. He especially didn't if he only owned those shares for 2.378 milliseconds, since he bought and sold them using a computer system that buys and sells when a sufficient (although tiny) change in price occurs resulting in his having more money, second to second on average, after cost of doing this, commissions, etc... this is not especially different from what day-traders do, except that it happens so fast no one can really track it in real time, to see what's going on.

Abraham Lincoln once said that if the American people actually knew how their nation's economy worked, they'd rebel tomorrow... this has never been more true today. Our system is falling apart, our government has quietly and through fear taken more power than it had any business having, using legal trickery and the memory of a once free and independent media... a joke now... we have an untenable lifestyle of overconsumption of all goods, a sense of tremendous entitlement, and...

THAT'S WHAT EUROPE SEEMS TO WANT TO COPY...

Any wonder Europe has gotten itself into such trouble lately? Our example is not one to follow. The story is not over yet, but people already think the path we're on is one to follow. It would be like a pair of young lovers reading Romeo and Juliet together, and deciding they want to be JUST LIKE THEM... not realizing (SPOILER ALERT!!!) they both end up dying horribly as mere kids due to their own stupidity... (remember Romeo poisoned himself, thinking Juliet was dead, then Juliet wakes, not being really dead, finds Romeo drank all the poison he brought with him, and stabs herself to death with his blade,) if you read to the end of the story, you'll find that you and your sweetheart DON'T really want to be like Romeo and Juliet, and if you read to the end of the story of the United State of America, you'll find you don't really want to be like us, either.

Let each nation go its own way, all are powerful enough to stand alone, history has shown that. Today, most US states could stand on their own JUST FINE without a federal government, but we're STUCK WITH IT. Let this be a warning to you, nations of Europe, and of Africa perhaps contemplating the same course... get out while you can. Umbrella organizations like the UN are fine, just don't let them own you and dictate to you how you'll live, what you'll do, etc. That road leads to dictatorship, even if it dresses in the cloth of freedom, and pretends to pay heed to your concerns... it's too late for us, but you still have a chance.

Run, Europe. Run!

Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40538701)

If the device is not in radio contact until you crash (so they can't track the IMEI of your car) then I'm fine.
If on the other hand the device has a constant connection, i'll be jamming/breaking the bitch.

How will it determine if assistance is needed? (3, Insightful)

rcasha2 (1157863) | about 2 years ago | (#40538801)

One problem is: How will it tell apart a serious accident in which people were hurt, and one in which the car was damaged but the people inside were unscathed. Once it gets installed in all cars, this could result in emergency services rushing to places where they are not needed, wasting time.

Re:How will it determine if assistance is needed? (1)

bieber (998013) | about 2 years ago | (#40539285)

If the people were left unscathed, then they'll be free to cancel the alert. It's a problem easily enough solved with a "Don't send the paramedics, please" button.

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Denial of privacy (1)

stooo (2202012) | about 2 years ago | (#40539123)

The real question is : which manufacturers will disable the GSM part (still keeping GPS in sync) when not in an emergency ?
If this does not happen, tracking each and ever car in the country is trivial, for govt., ISPs/telcos, as well as for simple individuals (as has been demonstrated by researchers years ago)
Also, which car manufacturers will log the route ? (a lot of precedents already !)

I hope people will review these systems !

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