Transmission Complete…

Greetings…I hope all is well with you as you read this post.

Earlier today, I got a text from my cousin. He was waxing on a bit regarding a new car he wanted to purchase in the near future, a Subaru BRZ or similar. He was eyeing a Porsche for quite sometime, but I digress. The text led me to remembering a comment from a guest on a hacking podcast I listened to over the weekend. Paraphrasing the comment, it essentially said “Tesla vehicles are network servers on wheels”. I relayed this comment as a reply to his text, prefacing it by saying I’ve been in love with the Model 3 for years, but haven’t adopted the EV mindset, primarily because (at least) the charging infrastructure hasn’t developed enough to allow me to feel comfortable enough as I do with a combustion vehicle. Be that as it may, I later came across an article about a topic I heard about last year. This particular article is entitled “Your car might be secretly recording every drive you take — and sending data to your insurance company.” Essentially it describes how modern day vehicles, via services like OnStar (and other methods) can send driving data back to your insurance company, and how some insurances use this data to raise your rates.

As we know, the advent of automobile technology has allowed for the inclusion of so many communication systems (besides diagnostic ones) embedded in black boxes that contemporary vehicles are somewhat (depending on the vehicle) just as I mentioned above regarding the Tesla comment. The tech podcast I heard last year didn’t speak specifically to this but, moreso connected vehicles sending all types of data back to the vehicle manufacturer. For example, there is the 2022 story about BMW move to charge owners a subscription to use the heated seats in their cars if they weren’t a paid-for option when new. There are many similar examples and it made me look at the tech built into my 2019 model year vehicle. From what I know (I’ve been curious and have begun researching), my vehicle isn’t connected to that extent. If it was, I’d find every way possible to disable and opt-out of every such type of communication back to the dealer, let along anywhere else. We’re tracked enough as it is and settle for the “convenience” that said tracking brings.

I like a more simplistic approach to driving (since I’ve been doing it so long), that it makes me often think about the comment I made to my cousin as we wrapped up that part of our text chat – “Sometimes I’d like my vehicle to have as much tech as a pristine ’69 Camaro”. I don’t mind the technical conveniences like maintenance minders, TPMS, and Bluetooth, even LKA (lane keeping assist), although I question the auto braking sensor technology that activates at times when I’m approaching an onramp with no vehicles in sight ahead of me…what’s that about?

There will come a time when I’ll purchase a new vehicle, but prior to that, you can best believe I’ll be fully educated about its “connectivity” technology.

Be well…


About Fresh

Mac Fan/Sys. Engr - NASA planetary missions. guitarist/producer/AFOL/fitness fan/film+TV+sndtrk composer/podcast host/Python newbie coder. Music by me: Mellowly Cool. Find me on X and Bluesky
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