General car talk

As AI gets better, the temptation to use this data for all sorts of things will grow. The innocuous stuff being recorded about you and archived today may be used in nefarious ways in the future.

We should all strive to mask/hide private data as much as possible. As it is, there is so much location data on you being archived that 20 years from now someone will be able to trace your exact movements last week. Or an AI will be able to classify your driving habits and any sketchy destinations you’ve visited (‘sketchy’ by the standards of the future, which may be radically different).

The instant you crash into somebody, the cops, those somebody(ies)’ insurance company(ies), and your insurance company will be extremely intereted in your telemetry. Until that event I agree that nobody much cares about your telemetry. Today.

This has been possible for years, but I doubt it is common. Can you provide evidence?
Typically, the officer is going to look at both cars, at skid marks, speak to drivers and witnesses, maybe write a ticket, and leave. If a driver has exonerating or damning video, they might offer it to the officer, or to their insurance company.
I’d be shocked if analyzing telemetry from accidents is happening on any large scale.

I agree it’s not happening on a large scale today. At least not for conventional cars involved in humdrum accidents. OTOH, you T-bone a school bus while doing 90mph on a surface street and IMO it’s a good bet any data recordings are going to be subpoena’d by somebody.

Consider the devices I mentioned that insurance companies offer to their drivers who voluntarily (in exchange for a discount) install them to track their driving. If you have one on your car and crash and call your insurer to handle it, do you think they ignore the data they’ve been paying for? I strongly doubt it, although I have no cite for you.

NTSB/NHTSA is working on regulations for how semi-self-driving cars will report data. Tesla, for reasons of their own, chose to make their cars as heavily instrumented and recorded as modern aircraft are. And Tesla cars “phone home” with all that data routinely, not just during / after a crash. NTSB/NHTSA is discovering they really like access to that stuff and want more cars to follow suit. It’s coming.

Even once all the telemetry is out there for the taking by LEOs or at least by courts, do I think it’ll be routinely accessed after a bog-standard stop-and-go rear-ender crunch w no material injuries? Probably not.

This sounds promising, but the second law of thermodynamics has to spoil it somewhere.

Hi @Capn_Carl. Ref my post 2 above this one in reply to your post.

See this thread which has just appeared and the cited news article:

The article states the police did pull the cars’ telemetry (more likely onboard data recorder, not really tele-anything), as part of their investigation.

Although this was a pretty spectacular crash, similar events occur nearly daily in most major metropolitan areas.

So digging into data recorders & telemetry post-accident is happening at least some. And IMO more all the time.

I didn’t realize that Tesla had embraced the subscription model for features like self-driving mode. I know there are other software-only features that you can purchase. More subscription-based features are coming down the pike, and I’m suspicious of this change in delivery. There’s a purchase option, but I wonder if that’s the way customers want to spend their money. Besides entertainment systems are other manufacturers using this model?

BMW has started charging a subscription fee for seat heaters…

This sounds like the first half of a talk show joke.

A lot of people view it that way!

OMG, that’s just awful. It’s bad enough that my water filters and home air filter run that way.

I’m ok with satellite radio subscriptions or other works where there is value added–i.e. Sirius where they are producing content. Features on the car that are locked until released? Did you decrease the MSRP? No? No.

But that’s the argument the manufacturers are taking. When you buy a car without seat heaters, as an example, you don’t pay for them. The difference here is that instead of buying them upfront for several hundred dollars, you pay a monthly fee instead. And suppose you move from Minneapolis to Phoenix, you can cancel the subscription, where if you bought them upfront you don’t get any money back. Pains me to argue the side of the manufacturer, but there is at least some sense to it.

Sometimes one can enable factory options already on the car.

I had a 2008 Toyota Yaris hatchback, the first car I ever bought new. I went to, the Yaris enthusiast website. I read that Toyota never sold factory-installed cruise control in the hatchbacks, but they just left off the switches and wiring that controlled it. I also found out how to install said switches and wiring in my Yaris. One trip to Radio Shack and less than ten dollars later, I had a perfectly functioning cruise control on my stripper model Yaris.

I predict black-market hacking will proliferate if the car companies try to push the subscription model. Hard-wiring seat heaters can’t be too difficult!

Sure–but did the up front price decrease (or at least not go up)? It’s pretty easy to quantify all these features vs the previous list price.

I think they will make it quite difficult to hack it, via the ECMs and other computer controls. This is far more advanced than just not installing the switches.

I think you’d be surprised at how talented some car oriented people are!

I’m sure they are very talented, but so are the engineers at BWM. I’m pretty confident that cars that report back to the manufacturer will be able to detect when their controls are being bypassed and take appropriate action.

Here’s how that works with a Tesla Model 3 option:
The long range version’s motors are capable of producing 420 horsepower. Tesla’s software limits them to 370 hp, which is more than enough for most owners, then charges $2000 to unlock the full 420 hp for the few customers that want it.

A Canadian performance parts company sells a product that unlocks the 420 hp for about half that price. But there’s a catch. Tesla issues over-the-air software improvements a few times each year. If you accept a software update and you have the non-Tesla power upgrade, Tesla will detect it and disable your car. You have to remember to disconnect the product during software updates.

Why I’m not interested in Tesla, right there. That and friends who turned there’s in for “something reliable”.