Originally Posted by POS
Actually, what will be happening is the new satellite system. A private company is going to use satellites in 2009 to connect to our cars. You can retrofit an older car and you can sign up a new car. Being on that satellite system, your car's computers will connect to their computers while being tracked by satellite. Think of OnStar but with two-way communication. If your Check Engine light comes on, they can diagnose through the satellites. If you need a reflash, the satellites will do it while your driving. Music/TV/etc will be on-demand as will GPS mapping. It's coming.
The downside? They know where you are, where you're going, and what you're doing when driving. Seems to me I like my older Benzes more and more.
I did not read any details but how much tax would the system make you pay if you drive to an underground garage with no satellite availability, shield the satellite antenna with a grounded metal folio and start driving on free air. If the system was logging miles from the car CAN bus data, one can fool that too. Tax money spent without no tax money in return. As suggested, tax on gas makes it a lot simpler.
On the other hand, Europe is already using heavily taxed gas, and different European countries have tried km-based tax systems too. There is a danger on this route, if the government needs more money, they start doing it on alphabetical order where they have first Automobiles, second Benzine etc. :-(
Considering those "on-demand" services, all of those are already available (in Europe at least, must be the same elsewhere) through cellular services. Not a great success though. The only thing I find useful is on-demand GPS navigation when travelling on and odd place. I still prefer pre-downloaded maps for normal use, and of course the Comand when driving my own car :-)
I doubt they would perform ECU update while I'm driving, I hope so at least! Of course would not be an issue to stop for a moment if this was needed. But if the car companies wanted to support updates through a satellite service, why wouldn't they allow us to download a file from the internet, burn it on a CD or put it on the PCMCIA drive and let the car perform the update?