Skip to comments.State GPS Tracking Your Mileage and Your Movements
Posted on 01/02/2003 3:43:33 PM PST by EBUCK
State GPS Tracking Your Mileage and Your Movements
Marc Morano, CNSNews.com Thursday, Jan. 2, 2003
CNSNews.com If a proposal by an Oregon State task force becomes law, the government would be able to use satellite equipment to keep track of each driver's mileage and tax that driver accordingly in order to pay for road repairs. Even the state administrator who proposed the plan thinks citizens "should be concerned" about the possibility of civil liberties violations. And Chris Edwards, director of fiscal policy at the free market Cato Institute told CNSNews.com , "I think it's nutty and I don't think it's ever going to happen."
"I don't think Americans are ready to be subjected to that type of civil liberties intrusion," Edwards explained, "where government tracks them around wherever they drive."
Edwards believes the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) mileage-tracking proposal is the result of overzealous government bureaucrats.
"This is an example of economists gone wild," Edwards said. "Economists often think of these schemes that seem efficient on paper, but they don't think about the real world and the civil liberties aspect of things."
Jim Whitty, administrator of Oregon's Road User Fee Task Force, in an exclusive interview with CNSNews.com , called the GPS mileage tracking tax proposal necessary because "it costs a certain amount to drive on the road per vehicle and people ought to pay their fair share of their usage."
Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and the state legislature set up the Road User Fee Task Force in November 2001 to explore methods of financing transportation costs.
Noting that gas taxes are unfair because of the large differences in the fuel economy of automobiles, Whitty and the task force explored alternative taxing methods to ensure equity among drivers. Seventy-percent of Oregon's road maintenance revenues currently come from federal and state gas taxes.
Commission members rejected the idea of using automobile odometer readings to track mileage because they figured some people would accumulate out-of-state mileage. The idea of raising the existing gasoline tax was also turned down because with automobiles becoming so fuel efficient, gas tax revenues are projected to dry up.
"If everybody had high mileage cars, our road system would fall apart" from lack of revenue, Whitty said.
'Vehicle Miles Traveled Fee'
The solution seemed clear to Whitty.
"You go to technology and you look and say we can calculate mileage electronically, so it can be paid electronically ... That is where the GPS device came in," Whitty said.
Whitty envisions a system that would either send auto owners a monthly bill for their miles or set up gas stations so they could read the GPS transponders and collect the tax during fueling stops. The new tax per mile would be called a VMT fee or Vehicle Miles Traveled fee.
Whitty would also like to see other technologies besides GPS considered.
"There is an odometer sensor which can calculate mileage and then data can be transferred by radio frequencies to a fuel pump. We are going to be looking at both," Whitty explained.
Whitty believes that despite the fears of potential civil liberties violations, the new method of calculating road taxes is needed to make transportation taxes fairer.
"[The task force] wanted it to look like the gas tax used to look like back around 1960 when all cars virtually got the same miles per gallon," Whitty said. "What has happened though is that in the 70s, 80s and 90s, some cars became more fuel efficient and others didn't.
"There was no longer a correlation between miles driven and revenues raised," Whitty explained.
When asked about possible civil liberties violations, Whitty admitted that people should be cautious about the state's use of the mileage tracking technology.
"They should be concerned and they should watch this and make sure that is doesn't turn into such a thing," Whitty said.
However, "that is not the purpose of this fee," he added. "The state transportation department has no interest in knowing where people are going either currently or after the fact."
Whitty believes police may ultimately end up using the GPS data for criminal investigations.
"If there was a police necessity perhaps, but we are not looking at that. That is not our concern," he said.
Edwards remains unconvinced.
"You can say it's not the purpose, but later on it will be abused and expanded," Edwards said.
"We don't need the government to have Big Brother precise tracking systems to make sure the highways are precisely paid by precisely the right people who use them," Edwards continued. "The gas tax now is roughly efficient."
Edwards also dismissed Whitty's concerns about dwindling revenues from gas taxes.
"The private sector is doing more with less. I don't see why the government sector also cannot continue to improve its productivity," he said.
Edwards also believes the cost of the GPS proposal would be too high considering "all the bureaucracy costs of setting up and installing the system, hiring satellite time, running the computers and having all the analysts looking at data."
"Do we really need all that? Edwards asked.
We're not ready "yet", a few more years and we'll probably be conditioned properly.
NewsMax tends to get a little hyperbole with their headlines sometimes. The headline used here makes it sound like this GPS system is being used by the state today.
Well Mr. Whitty, then maybe you need to clear the fog from your eyes. This is America, not Cuba or North Korea. Do us a favor and practice your big-brotherism somewhere else.
Ah, there's the rub. Which PR firm developed this idea for Mr. Whitty, and what's the money behind it...Saudi? Opec? SUV interests? Trucking interests?
He is/was on the Oregon Economic Development Board
He is/was on the Oregon Marine Board
and then the following from an article in 1999.....
Jim Whitty, of the Environmental Stewardship Partnership, said the hope is that measurable goals will make natural resource management more successful economically and environmentally. Often, he said, businesses have difficulty making gains because they are so focused on regulatory compliance. They see themselves spending heavily in return for minimal environmental and economic returns. He's supporting HB 3135 because of its reliance on cooperation from all segments of society. "We can't deny Oregon is a state most likely to adopt progressive environmental policies," he said."
Stay Safe EBUCK !
Unreal...he concedes were not ready, and in essence implies we need more "conditioning"...Freedom in this country is history folks...
Exactly. Or Freedom Is our History. Those that fail to learn from it are doomed to repeat it.
Yes, there's the real rub. Will the trucking industry, which does 90% of the damage to the nation's roadways, now be made to pay 90% of the fuel taxes used for maintenance?
It always kills me when I see those articles where truckers "rate" certain states roads. They invariably tag a few states as "worst" and never mention which drivers (themselves) put the roads in that shape in the first place.
That sent a shiver up my spine..."adopt progressive environmental policies"... Brrrrr, I feel a chill in the room.
Tom Sullivan discussed this story on Rush's show New Years Eve. It's a loony idea that can't be economically inforced.
Your idea makes too much sense, which is why they won't do it. They've got other reasons for wanting this, to track people, plain and simple.
Stay Safe !!
Depends on which Oregonians you are talking about.
Therefore, they have some other reason for proposing this - a hidden agenda, pure and simple - and it doesn't take a tin foil hat to come up with some good guesses as to what that agenda might be.
It could be considered that since federal regulations will continue to demand more fuel economy, consumer decisions to the opposite are moot. And since states live and die by the fuel consumption tax (which the fed is choking off by demanding more economy) perhaps Oregon is just trying to weasel out of more fed control by oppressing its citizenry.....too many variables.
I hate this incramentalism BS, and the cancer that this guys ideas represent...
Everyone seems concerned with their own personel freedom and not the freedom of all of us...I hate this crap...If only all of us Freedom lovers could take over a whole state and tell the Feds and the socialists to Shove it...
Yeah, we do. The heavy vehicles, pavement pounders, from bbig SUVs up to trucks, pay more since they burn more fuel. It wouldn't be necessary to track vehicles to get their mileage, either. They read the odometer at inspection time, don't they?
Still, collecting data on vehicle location and speed systemwide could be used in planning for the transportation network, new roads, road maintenance, that kind of thing instead of hiring traffic counters to sit and count vehicles.
Stay Safe !!
There are two possible reasons for this proposal.
Rampant Big Brotherism under the guise of fair taxation.
Massive bribes by some in the GPS Industry.
MY THOTTS EXACTLY!!!! Yesterday when I heard this I knew they didn't care about the mileage, they wanted position and velocity.
For this sort of system to have a shot at working, all older vehicles would have to be equipped with the tracking gear... or forced into the salvage yards. That is a tougher sales pitch than even the anti-gun people have.
Yeah, this has possibilities *way* beyond mere "road-use tax" calculations. Just as the red-light cameras harvest money for those specific moving violations, this gear would be used to rat out speeders and mail computer-generated tickets. RoboCop incarnate.
Can be done but I'm betting that the equipment would be considered "controlled".
Source Info on GPS..
Accuracy between DCF77 and GPS
The time code transmitter DCF77 emits a time signal and time code information in the long wave range of 77.5 kHz. The time information is visualised by the lowering of the carrier power to 25% of the standard value (amplitude modulation). The beginning of a second is marked by the beginning of a lowering. The lowering takes 0.1 sec for a logic "0" and 0.2 sec for a logic "1".
During a minute the BCD values for the minutes, hours, day of the week, month and year are transmitted after the 20th second. Being the synchronisation marker the 59th second is not lowered.
The emitted power does not immediately drop to the 25%-value. Because of the resonance quality of the antenna this value is reached after 600-800 µsec.
The inaccuracy of the transmitted carrier frequency
averages over the period of 1 day < 1* 10-12
averages over the period of 100 days < 1* 10-13
As the carrier frequency and the carrier lowering have the same source, the above inaccuracy also applies to the beginning of the lowering of the second markers.
The DCF77-signal is usually received by a an active ferrite antenna and fed to a straight-receiver. Rectification and levelling of the signal turn the decoded DCF77-signal into a pulse data string.
The time code is transmitted in the longwave range by amplitude modulation, it can therefore be easily disturbed. The many sources of interference include atmospheric disturbances like thunderstorms on the way to the receiver. In case of thunderstorms near the location of the transmitter the transmission is stopped for the length of the storm. This may take up to several hours.
Interferences on the location of the receiver are mainly caused by motors, monitors, displays, corona discharges from high-voltage lines, switching contactors. The place for the antenna must therefore be selected with utmost care. Narrowband receivers are an alternative to suppress interferences.
Please note: Narrowband reception and accuracy exclude each other!!
The short-term and the long-term accuracy of the DCF77-signal show a considerable difference.
The decoded second marker may deviate from the absolute second marker by +5 to +150 msec if standard decoding techniques are used. This is due mainly to the used signal filters and the signal rectification. Narrow-band antennas and very narrow-band crystal filters are used to suppress interferences, which results in a long decay time. The edge is further delayed by the rectification used to obtain the pulse.
The accuracy suffices completely for the every-day use of our clocks where the long-term accuracy matters. After one year the deviation of the second is no more than +5 to +150 msec.
For industrial purposes these deviations are not tolerable. For more accurate second markers both the antenna and the receiver must be wide-band. Values between +5 to +15 msec require bandwidths of about 4 kHz for the antenna which means that the antenna transmits far more noise to the electronics and that the reception electronics often cannot decode the minute cycle. Comparing these to the clocks for every-day use this liability to interferences is mistaken for too little sensitivity.
Basically the following is correct:
Short-term accuracy and high noise immunity exclude each other under DCF77
By changing an amplitude modulated signal to a frequency modulated signal a tolerable accuracy is reached.
During the DCF77 lowering of the second the frequency changes from about 500 Hz to 400 Hz. In the decoding process the pulse width of every frequency oscillation is measured and saved. In case of a change in the pulse width the starting point is traced back and interpreted as the second marker. The accuracy which is achieved ranges around a pulse width, i.e. ± 2 msec. Over a period of one minute the second markers are observed and tendencies are ascertained. If for example the calculated second marker tends to be earlier, on average, than in the previous minute, two control values are deducted :
the crystal frequency on the board is changed
to level out the difference the second marker is adjusted for a short time with ± 10 ppm frequency offset.
This process adjusts the crystal frequency to ± 2 ppm inaccuracy for the free-running of the clock.
Further inaccuracies may be caused by travel times from the transmitter to the receiver. In case of just ground-wave reception a constant is included in the calculation if the distance is permanent. In case of just space wave reception the reception side cannot influence the time fluctuations. Time fluctuations are influenced directly by the changing altitude of the reflecting and bending layer of the ionosphere. Similar problems arise where ground and space waves overlap. This field is not constant but changes in the course of the day between 600 to 1200 km from the transmitter position. At fixed locations there may be time fluctuations in the range of some milliseconds.
When GPS systems are used as timers world-wide operation at highest accuracy is possible. At an altitude of about 20000 km satellites circle around the earth on 6 different orbits twice a day. There are 3 satellites on every orbit. Every satellite contains 2 atomic clocks being as accurate as at least 1 x 10 -12.
The satellites constantly transmit their position and the GPS world time at the same point of time at a frequency of 1.57542 GHz. GPS antenna receive the data from the satellites moving in the view range of the antenna. These data are then decoded by a 6 to 12 channel GPS receiver. First the position of the receiving antenna is calculated from these values. Once the position is calculated the travelling times of the transmitter information from the individual satellites can be determined.
The GPS time information and the average travelling times are used to construct the GPS world time (GPS-UTC) achieving an accuracy of ± 1 µsec. The accuracy of the time determination depends above all on how accurately the position has been calculated.
The world time UTC is calculated by deducting the leap second from GPS-UTC. The leap seconds offer the chance to level out the inaccuracy of the speed of the earth rotation. At present the difference is 9 seconds. The adjustment can be done automatically because the satellites include the difference in their transmitted information.
The local time can now be calculated precisely by adding or subtracting a time offset from UTC.
The GPS signal is nearly disturbance-proof due to the high transmission frequency of 1.57542 GHz. Very narrow-banded antennas and filters can be used to decode the signal, because the information is transmitted in the phase modulation at constant amplitude.
There are no atmospheric disturbances at great heights. The transmission between layers in the atmosphere can cause time offsets, but only in terms of picoseconds. The data from 4 satellites are used for the calculation of the 3D position. If the antenna has a clear view to the horizon an average of 7 to 9 satellites are visible. That means the time information is 100% available. Even if half the horizon is covered the availability still reaches 90 to 95%. Due to the low transmission power of the satellites and the high frequency the cables between the antenna and the electronics must be short, otherwise the signal cannot be filtered from the noise.
Military ground control stations may interfere with the accuracy of the position calculation for a time. Then some satellites transmit wrong orbit data, from which the travelling time of the data is calculated wrongly. The error in the calculation of the time may amount to some µsec.
The accuracy of the individual second marker is, other than with DCF77, the same at every location. It is about ± 1 µsec using standard GPS-receivers and decoding of the time marker. This allows the standard crystals for the free-running characteristics of the clock to be adjusted to ± 0.1 ppm. Also a far better adjustment control of the second marker is possible. Even better free-running characteristics are achieved when oven and temperature stabilised crystals are used, i.e. values between 0.1 and 2.0 ppm.
The time marker of plain GPS position receivers, used for private purposes like sailing, walking etc. is not more accurate than DCF77.
With GPS a high short-term and long-term accuracy is achieved.
In future GPS will replace DCF77 systems in all the industrial fields where very precise time markers matter. The fast development of the world-wide use of GPS had the effect that the prices for GPS receivers with time decoding have dropped from 20.000 $/piece to less than 1.000 $/piece since 1990.
As GPS has gained importance in the car sector and the American industry cannot be imagined without it any more, the military use of the system has been pushed back to 2nd place. The system is not likely to be removed without being appropriately substituted within the next 20-30 years.
DCF77: within a 2000 km radius around Frankfurt
GPS: Only outdoor antennas possible. This requires more complicated equipment for lightning protection. Also the antenna circuit should be potential free, because in case of lightning protection the antenna coat is earthed which may cause earth loops. The standard antenna cable must not exceed 25 m because of the high frequency and the low reception power. Cable lengths up to 150 m can be reached with special cables and power amplifiers.
DCF77: Outdoor and indoor antenna are possible. Standard cables can bridge distances of up to 500 m between the antenna and the electronics. Outdoor antennas also require lightning protection and potential free antenna circuits.
GPS: The decoding of the high frequency and the low reception power cannot yet be covered by standard equipment. High quality devices and high computing power is necessary. World-wide use make a broad and cheap supply very likely in the near future.
DCF77: The decoding can be done by simple standard units. Low-cost clocks for every-day use are available for less than 100 DM.
GPS: The high frequency and the phase modulation of the signal guarantees high noise immunity. It is difficult to simulate this signal.
DCF77: Due to the low frequency and amplitude modulation the signal is liable to many interferences from atmospheric, magnetic and electric sources. It is easy to simulate the signal.
GPS: With time decoding programme high short-term accuracy of ± 1 µsec. Good control characteristics free running crystals (standard ± 0.1 ppm).
DCF77: Bad short-term accuracy, as a rule +5 to +25 msec, pretty bad characteristics for free-running crystals achievable ± 2 ppm.
DCF77: German time signal transmitter transmission frequency 77.5 kHz.
GPS: Global Positioning System, navigation system supported by satellites, transmission frequency 1.57542 GHz for commercial purposes.
UTC: Universal Time Co-ordinated, co-ordinated global time, previously GMT
GPS-UTC: continuous global time without correction by leap second
GHz: 1 billion Hertz
ppb: part per billion = 1 * 10 -9 e.g. time error 1 ppb = 0.0864 msec per day
ppm: part per million = 1 * 10 -6 e.g. time error 1 ppm = 86.4 msec per day
msec: 1 thousandth of a second
µsec: 1 millionth of a second
3D: three dimensional calculation of the position, longitude, latitude and altitude
Author: B. Rega
Company: hopf Elektronik GmbH
Sure, RightWhale, and all the traffic cameras that have been put up by TexasDOT here were to be used to enhance traffic flow on IH35. Even if that really was their plan and it did generate lotsa data and "jobs", it didn't cure traffic and it cost just the same.
The IRS would be responsible for allocating the tax due to each state. The vehicle location would never be disclosed to the politicians. They would see only elapsed miles by state. The GPS miles and odometer miles should be fairly close. Signal dropout and miles accumulated on private property would account for a small disparity. Tampering with the GPS telematics unit (including intentional blocking of the antenna) would be treated in a manner similar to tampering with the vehicle odometer.
Whether it's a sin or not depends upon which 9 year old they're using as moderator that day.
Which state is going to get the tax revenue using this approach? I was putting 910 miles on my car each way on the trip from San Diego to Pocatello. That crosses CA, NV, AZ, UT and ID in a single trip.
Here's the real root of the problem. The federal government is operating far beyond its charter.
Is that your belief or is that the company line being offered???
Social security numbers instantly spring to mind...
Well that ain't my way. Unconstitutional BS has to stop. Goobermint bean counting polidiots are playing incrementalism and winning with such revenue and invasion of privacy based programs as this.
My new Holiday to make sure I observe is the first Tuesday in November. And I will rent a bus to get like minded folk to the polls as VOTES are the last tool IMHO .
Rant Over ....Stay Safe !