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The Dangers and Liberty-Taking Qualities of GM and Onstar-Your Next Big Brother

NICE59FORDF100

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Ok, so i was thinking about GM, right? (if this issue has already been posted, please delete if nessesary) You know, GM has the availablitiy of onstar in over 50 of their vehicles. Onstar can make a phone call for you (using thier network), can unlock your doors for you if your keys are locked inside, and even find your vehicle if it is stolen. It can report a crash, and then call you to make sure you are alright and to tell you help is on the way. To many People that are ignorent (not using it as a bad term, just as its meaning of 'not knowing') of automotive technology, these are all saving graces. But, i began to think of what more onstar can do...

First, let us Go off topic for a moment to another area of automotive controversy-The black box. We all know black boxes are commonly used in aircraft to record data that can be used to determine the cause of a crash, ect. What people don't know, is that GM has been using this same technology since 1985! True, back then, they were simple infomation retainers of data (speed and airbag deployment, if equipped at most) But car buyers had little or no awareness of this at all. Some owners manuals stated in one simple sentence that the vehicle had one, but that would be it. Now, fast forward to now...

In today's world of automotive technology, Blackboxes are comman place, being installed in just about every make and model of every vehicle. And of course, they can record a lot more information, such as: Speed, braking force and pressure, which wheels locked up, if any, throttle response and how much the throttle was open, airbag deployment and which airbag, how many people were sitting in the vehicle (seat pressure sensors), who was wearing a seatbelt, if you were using a built in telephone, seat alignment, turning alignment (which way the steering wheel is turned), and vehicle dynamics (yaw rate, temperture settings, force being applied to airbag sensors, ect) All this information is recorded up to 5 seconds before a crash. That means the black box can recreate the last 5 seconds of your driving before impact. Now, back to onstar...

Onstar's main computer system in the car, the brain of all the workings is intergrated into the main ECM and various body control computers (think of the unlocking doors feature. this is a function of a body computer that controls door locks). You simply can not just take out the onstar control system (OCS) without upsetting the main ECM's functions. Now to the scary stuff....

Since onstar is intergrated into the main ECM, and as well as the Black Box, the technology is there for onstar to have access to real time driving dynamics through the black box. Oh yes, the black box is not simply a tape recorder of what has happened. It is a camera for what IS happening. And onstar has access to this.

(i'm almost done, so if you read this far, thank you)

Now, GPS navigation systems are becoming popular, and we all know how they work. But, something i bet you didnt know is that many of those GPS DVDs have speed limits built into them. Say your Driving on highway X and the speed limit is 55. Even though the car itself cannot sense what the Speed limit is, the GPS knows that HWY X is 55 MPH. Now lets say your goin 57 miles per hour. Due to how gps works, it CAN (not saying it is now, but it can) see the difference. here's where it all ties together....

For Example: Your traveling on HWY X going 57. HWY X's speed limit is 55. The GPS see's this, and reports it to the Black box (as with any speed, but this one has a red flag because you are technically speeding). The black boxes see the speeding violation and can do one of the following: Specifically slow down the vehicle OR report to onstar you have been speeding. Laws can be passed to require onstar to then report the speeding and the offender (since onstar does have your name, address, phone number, Vehicle ID (vin) and various other information) to the police, who can mail you a speeding ticket. The technology is there!

Now, im not saying this will happen, but looking at the course of human nature (especially military nature) this area is wide open to 'invasion' by big brother, and best of all, the government didnt have to build the network itself! Just thought i would share. Thanks for reading, here's a cookie!
 


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IAmTodd

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I like my Ford with "simple" technology :)
 




BeauJ

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IAmTodd said:
I like my Ford with "simple" technology :)

AMEN to that Todd.

I'm more a Ford than Chevy man, but one of the main reasons I didn't get a Chevy HD is because of those damn black boxes and onstar.
 




EMG7895

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My other car has onstar, but since it is a 2003 it is still the old analog system which is limited to the very basics. The new ones can do a complete diagnostics check over the phone and email it to you complete with mileage, oil life, tire pressure etc. How long before they install breathalyzers?
 




IBJEDI

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You have some very valid points IMO,thanks for the insight.
 




JDraper

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I refuse to buy any car that can actively monitor and transmit what I am doing behind the wheel. I know both my new vehicles have some black box technology, but at least they don't transmit the info somewhere by themselves.......
 




IAmTodd

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If only the one in the Mach could talk ;)
 




JDraper

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IAmTodd said:
If only the one in the Mach could talk ;)

:D :D......ain't happenin' :D :mattmoon:


Btw...the Mach got a little faster on Thursday :). Added an intake spacer which lengthens the intake runners and should add about 18 ft-lb of torque.
 




Blee1099

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JDraper said:
:D :D......ain't happenin' :D :mattmoon:


Btw...the Mach got a little faster on Thursday :). Added an intake spacer which lengthens the intake runners and should add about 18 ft-lb of torque.

I may be somewhat of a atheist, but God help us! Jeff is out of control. :D
 




JDraper

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Blee1099 said:
I may be somewhat of a atheist, but God help us! Jeff is out of control. :D

Naaaahhhh...just havin' fun. I need to get it back on the dyno now. I'm betting I'm darn close to 350 rwhp STD Corrected on a Dynojet now. :D
 




Blee1099

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JDraper said:
Naaaahhhh...just havin' fun. I need to get it back on the dyno now. I'm betting I'm darn close to 350 rwhp STD Corrected on a Dynojet now. :D

Just don't let Sue drive it otherwise the rear bumper will look like the F-150's :D
 




JDraper

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Ben, ya better be careful next time you come up....Sue's planning on putting a new speed bump in the lane....named BEN!!! :p
 




Blee1099

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LOL.. Its all fun.. Did you guys ever get a new bumper? You could probably order one thru Lindsy and I could always bring it with me.
 




IAmTodd

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JDraper said:
Ben, ya better be careful next time you come up....Sue's planning on putting a new speed bump in the lane....named BEN!!! :p

Make sure its painted pink so everyone sees it!! :D
 




NICE59FORDF100

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i dont mean to be rude, but what is yalls thoughts on this subject? just thought i would get everyone back on track
 




IAmTodd

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I think tis bull shit and peopel shoudln't be able to dpo this stuff to dus. Wemotor heads should be able to stpeed our hareat out and do what wen want with a litel computer chip tell the world what we do.
 




Brian_B

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I think we should revolt and all go back to the old "Y" blocks without computer controls.

I will soon be doing my part in the revolution. ;)

33011Dscf0197.jpg
 




Bill Kemp

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Most of the over-the-road truckers in England are connected to the govt. by GPS and will recieve ticketts by mail if they speed.
Some of the buy-here - pay-here car sales have the ability to disable the car if you miss a payment. When you turn the car off it just wont start untill you pay & they turn it back on. Just like cable TV.
I think if you wear an aluniminum foil hat it dissables the Onstare.
 




ExplorerDMB

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Technology will always improve, and usually will invade our lifestyles -- I can't really see the "ticket-by-mail" thing happening, but it just might. I think it is a lot of bull. I don't like the idea of a system monitoring me when I'm driving. Now say this -- I've seen a few tsb's and stuff that say stuff about inaccruate speedometer reading and so forth -- what if this happens and then you are really only going 60 in a 65 and it says your doing 70 and then you get a ticket 3 weeks later. I don't think it'll be feasible because there are a lot of factors here that'll inhibit the whole point of the system. I believe onstar and GM should use their technology for safety reasons only -- not to be a loud mouth.

-Drew
 


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BeauJ

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Bill Kemp said:
I think if you wear an aluniminum foil hat it dissables the Onstare.

Yes it will. It's a very easy to block the signal, just like GPS.
 




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