Warning this new tax maybe coming your way! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Warning this new tax maybe coming your way!

ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) has been testing a new system that will track the actual miles driven in Oregon and then tax the owner when he/she uses the gas pump. It uses a global positioning satellite and a device in your car that transmitted the data. The yearlong test did show several glitches, so it is not yet ready for prime time. Other states have been watching this test.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 08:20 PM
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A tax on gasoline is effectively a tax on miles driven, and of course fuel economy. Gas purchased in one state and used in another is a zero sum game for the states. A GPS device on every car and traced to the owner is a monumental (and expensive) task in itself. This one is not going to be happening in our lifetimes.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 09:01 PM
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Oregon is just being silly, and wasting tax dollars even exploring this ridiculous avenue.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 09:10 PM
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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.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 11:28 PM
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I heard the same thing, but I also heard about them chipping 'PEOPLE', no joke. It's called a bio-chip.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
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?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
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.
The satellites don't track your location. Each GPS satellite simply sends a unique signature. The GPS system in your car uses at least 4 satellite signatures to fix the location of your car, longitude, latitude and altitude.

The OnStar or TeleAid system in the car send this locational data from the car's GPS system via cellular phone system to the control center, along with other data such as airbag deployment. That's how they can tell where you are.

It takes a huge amplifier and huge antenna to send something to the satellites, these are called uplinks.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 01:58 AM
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The satellites don't track your location. Each GPS satellite simply sends a unique signature. The GPS system in your car uses at least 4 satellite signatures to fix the location of your car, longitude, latitude and altitude.

The OnStar or TeleAid system in the car send this locational data from the car's GPS system via cellular phone system to the control center, along with other data such as airbag deployment. That's how they can tell where you are.

It takes a huge amplifier and huge antenna to send something to the satellites, these are called uplinks.
I did not read the details but was also wondering if the reverse link would be via cell phone or something else instead of two-way communication with the satellite.

Of course if it was a LEO satellite system, then the uplink power would stay reasonable. A LEO system sounds too expensive for this application.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Diesel Benz
I did not read the details but was also wondering if the reverse link would be via cell phone or something else instead of two-way communication with the satellite.

Of course if it was a LEO satellite system, then the uplink power would stay reasonable. A LEO system sounds too expensive for this application.
Yes, most of these LEO system will be too expensive for consumer service, Iridium folded, Teledesic cancelled and Globalstar was saved by the war. The very rough news video that sometimes went to blocks were carried by these LEO satellite links. The news channel vans with the tall dish use these links.

In the US, the older TeleAid service using analog cellular system will be turned off by end of this year. MB had notified these users already. But there are still spots that is analog only, e.g. New Mexico back roads. So TeleAid will not work there. Like someone said, cover the antenna with metal foil will prevent the GPS system to work if one really doesn't want MB to know where they are.

Here is a few good links for GPS and Vehicular Telematics; official term for OnStar and TeleAid type systems:

Garmin: What is GPS?
Telematics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by CalifSLK; 04-09-2007 at 10:20 AM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 11:42 AM
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Even if this technology comes come to pass, how long would it take for the info to circulate the net on how to circumvent with the technology? A few days? Maybe less?
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