I understand the logic of a black box data recorder for aviation or shipping but a black box data recorder in a car sounds like invasion of privacy not because these devices can log details of journeys made but the fact the information will most likely be sold on at a profit.
Think about it, a black box data recorder in your car tracking your journey, you buy it and get it installed and then pay an annual fee so that whatever organisation sold it to you can monitor your movements or at least retain a history of your daily commute.
Acquiring data and selling it on to third parties is big business, its called data mining and it sucks. Why? because you do all the work for free and don’t get a share of the profits.
That’s what Volkswagen are doing, the company plans to sell black box data recorders in Austria which basically monitors daily trips made by users and is able to track the location of a car. Users can access the data recorder via smartphones and the unit can also be fitted to Audis and Porsches too.
Alain Favey, the head of Porsche Holding said in a statement “we’re democratising the connected car” What Alain is actually doing is selling you the concept with powerful words like democracy. Democracy in this case means corporate profiteering.
The DiBox, as it is branded, will cost 299 euros and an additional 50 euros for an annual subscription fee. VW says the benefits allow users to be notified about traffic jams and road crashes, Sat Navs already do that, and the system could also be used to facilitate the future of autonomous driving.
The European Union is seemingly interested in the DiBox and are drawing up regulation that will make the fitting of the DiBox mandatory. The DiBox could facilitate emergency services in the event of a crash, a benefit say its proponents. Although we must stress the details of such legislation has yet to be written and ratified.
Volkswagen is using Austria as a test bed for the DiBox and hopes to shift 6,000 units by the end of the year with a view of moving into other European territories.
There are questions as to how this black box will be regulated, after all we live in the information age a digitally connected world that is a goldmine for all who seek readily available information at the right price.