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The above clip from Modern Marvels is a great bit showing just how strong an airline’s “black box” is. They can take an amazing amount of punishment and survive to tell what happened to an airline before an accident.
Well now Progressive Insurance has a “black box” you can install, willingly, in your car. They say it only records and requires a few bits of data like:
- Are willing to plug the device in their vehicle for six months.
- Drive their vehicle less than 15,000 miles per year.
- Don’t frequently drive between midnight and 4 a.m.
- Don’t frequently brake hard.
They also say that there is NO WAY this can be used to increase your rates, and if your little “black box” sends back good data to the mother insurance ship, you could get a nice discount on your auto policy.
I have seen commercials for this little gadget a few times and it really bothers me. I mean a LOT! Being a computer geek I know how much/little control we already have of all of our data on the web. I even got my last passport early so I could avoid a few years with an RF ID chip in it (now I do have GOES / TSA Pre, but still).
This type of gadget, just makes my blood boil. No matter what the company says, they could always, when you do a 6 month upload, re-flash the unit to get MORE info and just how would you know? How would you know if they do decide to dump you or after a crash look at the data and say we are not going to cover you due to the fact that you were reckless!
We can go the other way too. Why not put them in ALL cars as well as a breathalyzer so no one who ever drinks and drives can start the car and anyone who the chip says drives bad just gets to stay home and we all save a TON of money?
What do you think? Does this creep you out? Do you like the idea? Would you put one in your car? – René
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