Oregon – home of things uber trendy – has become the first state to begin dunning motorists by the mile rather than by the gallon.
The “pilot” program begins July 1 — and will be implemented by the Oregon DOT in partnership with something called Sanef ITS Technologies America and Intelligent Mechatronic Systems. Sounds a lot like Cyberdyne Systems from the Terminator movies, doesn’t it? And the similarities run a lot deeper than that.
To make this work (for Uncle) your car must be fitted with some type of real-time monitoring device that keeps track of your mileage and reports it to Uncle (well, his helpers) who will then either Real Dissent: A Libert... Best Price: $8.48 Buy New $7.93 (as of 03:10 EST - Details) send you a bill or perhaps automatically debit your account.
Kind of like federal tax withholding on wheels.
In Oregon, this means a little widget like the one you may have seen the white-coated Progressive Insurance Lady hawking. It plugs into the Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) port that all cars manufactured since the mid-1990s have. Then ties into your car’s computer, where the data about your mileage and (cue Darth Sideous voice) many other things are stored. Including your speed, rate of acceleration, whether you’re wearing a seatbelt.
You probably can see where that’s headed. Against the State: An ... Best Price: $5.02 Buy New $5.52 (as of 11:35 EST - Details)
In addition, the device has the ability to act as a locator beacon – relaying data about where you are, where you’re headed. And, of course, where you’ve been.
We’re talking send and receive capability here, too. If they can upload your mileage (and other data) they can also transmit instructions to your car’s computer to shut ‘er down – as punishment for not having paid a traffic ticket, for instance.
Or just because they can.
TEKTON Instant Read Di... Best Price: $8.65 ($1.54 / oz) Buy New $9.99 ($1.78 / oz) (as of 11:45 EST - Details) Uncle and his acolytes are big fans of just because they can.
Keep in mind that this wasn’t put to a vote. It was simply decided. (You Chimp fans out there, take note. You bear a heavy burden of guilt for cheering “decidership” at the national level, which made it increasingly acceptable at the state level.) No one elected the “Flos” within the Oregon DOT; like the EPA (and the NHTSA) they legislate and decree regardless. So much for “consent of the governed,” which can’t be said with a straight face these days by any person not a blithering idiot (or a partei ideologue).
Anyhow, the point is this vehicular eTyranny is going to spread. Oregon is merely a kind of Beta testing ground. Other states will follow. The feds will “incentivize” the recalcitrant. Within five years, it will be a nationwide regime. And then they will argue that owners of cars built before OBD – which do not have the ability to “plug in” (and be monitored/taxed) aren’t “paying their fair share.” These older car owners will then be told their cars must be retrofitted with the necessary electronics or taken off the road.