back to article Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

Toyota has expanded its collaboration with Amazon Web Services in ways that will see many of its models upload performance data into the Amazonian cloud to expand the services the auto-maker offers to drivers and fleet owners. Toyota already operates a “Mobility Services Platform” that it says helps it to “develop, deploy, and …

  1. jake Silver badge

    That's settled, then.

    I will never again purchase, nor will I ever recommend, a Toyota. In fact, I will actively recommend that people shun them.

    How fucked up is it that someone, somewhere, thinks that having your own car spy on you is a good idea?

    To answer my own question, that's very, very fucked up.

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: That's settled, then.

      Which is a shame, as the cars are pretty decent. Alas, unless this "feature" can be proven to be OFF, I'm out as well.

      Having the insurance on you shoulder for every metre is about the last thing I need.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        Similar but perhaps not quite so all-pervasive with our Citroën. Until we'd actually signed for the thing it wasn't obvious that the data gathering - in particular sending GPS data back to the manufacturer - wasn't absolutely verifiably off-turnable. Yes, there's an option buried three menus deep in the car's central touchscreen interface, but if you go back later to check it, it appears to be turned back on every time you restart the car. The same is true of some of the "driver aids" that actually seem to be "driver hindrances" such as the speed limit recognition system which constantly gets it wrong yet cannot be permanently turned off.

        The one bright spot on the horizon is that apparently the tracking feature requires a subscription, which is paid for the first three years. Presumably if we refuse to pay the subscription when it comes up...?

        M.

        1. Flywheel Silver badge

          Re: That's settled, then.

          They've probably thought of that already, and will have undoubtedly rigged your car so that it won't start without paying up. For your own protection of course...

      2. denisbergeron

        Re: That's settled, then.

        The Toyota are decent, every piece of software in those car are shitty.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          @denisbergeron -- Re: That's settled, then.

          Well, not exactly. My 2107 Corolla's user-facing software is much better than the corresponding user-facing software on my 2017 Honda Odyssey. YMMV of course, and I have no sense about the non-user facing software on either.

          That said, any car that wants to slurp, and can't be verifiably told to bugger off, is not going to find its way into my garage.

          Even if that means I have to buy a GM car...

          1. Swiss Anton

            Re: @denisbergeron -- That's settled, then.

            "My 2107 Corolla..." Is this a remake of the classic DeLorean?

            1. Someone Else Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: @denisbergeron -- That's settled, then.

              Typological error...

      3. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        Well, you can start by not buying them, but I won't take any odds on all manufacturers starting this fairly soon. BMW are experimenting with rentable features, too - want to have cruise control? Pay a fiver and have it for the day

        1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

          Re: That's settled, then.

          I hope BMW will allow drivers to rent their direction indicators.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That's settled, then.

            Heh!!! On a similar note I have a little image on my phone for my 'Why bother?' moments that says:

            'If you ever think your job is pointless, just remember there is a bloke in Germany who puts indicators on BMW cars...'

            (and speedos in Audis etc...)

          2. Jens Goerke

            Re: That's settled, then.

            It's called a Münzblinker - you need to insert a coin for every flash of an indicator. It's been standard in Mercedes cars for ages.

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: That's settled, then.

      I wonder how fast hackers/tinkerers will go over their Toyota with a fine toothed EMF-detecting comb to locate anything & everything that tries to broadcast an RF signal of any kind (especially a cellular connection) & promptly deactivates said bits with a tiny Faraday cage to prevent it from doing any such thing?

      Completely removing the bit might impact other systems so leaving it in place may be best, but preventing it from ever getting a signal out might be the next best way to ensure your car can't blab all your data to the mothership.

      If it turns out that the only thing doing the broadcasting is that DCM, then perhaps wrapping it in a Faraday cage will suffice to declaw? defang? disrupt? the cars ability to play snooper.

      Of course, if you own a car with "OnStar" then you'll need to disable that as well since it's doing the same job for the other brand...

      1. NATTtrash Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: That's settled, then.

        "Of course, if you own a car with "OnStar" then you'll need to disable that as well since it's doing the same job for the other brand..."

        Indeed. And don't forget that the EU might also need a second thought there too. After all, they passed the law for the mandatory installation of "eCall" in all cars sold in the EU.

        eCall in all new cars from April 2018

        Today the European Parliament voted in favour of eCall regulation which requires all new cars be equipped with eCall technology from April 2018. [...]

        It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services, the time of incident and the direction of travel (most important on motorways), even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call. An eCall can also be triggered manually by pushing a button in the car, for example by a witness of a serious accident.

        https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/ecall-all-new-cars-april-2018

        Not sure how far the implementation on that is though...

        TRL, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory, has developed proposals for technical requirements and test procedures for the European type-approval of eCall in-vehicle systems.

        So about that old timer you had for sale...

        1. NATTtrash Silver badge

          Re: That's settled, then.

          ADDITION:

          Apparently the EU eCall system is built in and very active in current new cars sold in EU.

          Recently, Volkswagen had to stop/ recall their Golf 8 (and potentially other models) due to eCall "software issues". Audi, Skoda, and Seat, also VAG, reported similar issues (== similar components).

          (In German)

          15.05.2020 - https://www.heise.de/news/VW-Golf-Lieferstopp-wegen-eCall-Problem-Rueckruf-moeglich-4722518.html

          In addition, Toyota might not be the only one, taking for example the comments of Markus Duesmann, the head Software of VAG (previous CEO Audi):

          (In German - 15-07-2020)

          einer automobilen Daten-Cloud [...] die markenübergreifende Car.Software-Organisation

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: That's settled, then.

            > Toyota might not be the only one

            Definitely not, if there is money to be made, they will all do it as soon as they technically can.

            *sigh*

            1. hoola Bronze badge

              Re: That's settled, then.

              In part of a Nissan advert for (I think) the Juke, the smooth dude driving it appears to use his phone to zap it locked.

              If this is what we are getting to where you need Internet access just to operate the car then it is connectivity gone mad.

              My only assumption is that this is the push for car or driving as a service.

              Has anyone see the DoT stating that "hands free control" could be with us next year with the automated lane keeping technology?

              Apparently the driver has to be alert to take control when it goes wrong. Based on what we had already seen with Teslas this just isn't going to happen. Of course the motoring organisations are pushing this because it will improve safety.

              1. Someone Else Silver badge

                Re: That's settled, then.

                Of course the motoring organisations are pushing this because it will <airquote>improve safety.</airquote>"

                There, FTFY

        2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

          From what I understand, eCall only activates when there's been an accident, which is quite different from a spy looking over your shoulder and whispering everything to its boss.

          I am fine with eCall - until it gets proven that eCall is actually on all the time, in which case it will go into the same basket as Toyota, ie the Do Not Buy basket.

          1. Flywheel Silver badge
            Terminator

            Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

            Exact location .. I wonder if it would be accurate enough to direct a drone strike? Might be a bit messy(for other people) if you're slow-moving/stopped on the M25. Some collateral damage may be necessary if the target's important enough though.

          2. Donn Bly

            Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

            In order to know exact location in order to be able to transmit immediately when there is an accident, it must be active BEFORE the accident. Not every location has unobstructed views of positioning satellites, and even there were who is to say that the antennas wouldn't be damaged in a collision?

            No, in order for the system to work it has to be active all of the time, updating location inside of a physically hardened "black box" type of container, so that it can be immediately retrieved and transmitted on demand.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

              "No, in order for the system to work it has to be active all of the time, updating location inside of a physically hardened "black box" type of container, so that it can be immediately retrieved and transmitted on demand."

              That makes sense, but it's not necessary that it's broadcasting that information all of the time. The onslaught of data would make the system unusable.

              A little bit of added code that makes the car forget where it's been every time it's turned off would be a handy feature.

              1. Olafthemighty

                Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

                Of course the car will forget! Right after we upload this data for <flip><flip> integrity testing..?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

            "eCall only activates when there's been an accident, which is quite different from a spy looking over your shoulder and whispering everything to its boss."

            So they *say* but is there *any* actual proof about that? EU is moving to full Stasi in every front, so this one being an exception is totally unbelievable.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: EU is moving to full Stasi in every front

              That's a relief. For a moment I thought you were a paranoid right wing nut job!

            2. JohnG Silver badge

              Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

              In an eCall module, there is a GPS receiver, which is operational whenever the vehicle is powered - it will continuously receive signals from GNSS satellites and calculate the vehicle's current position. Inertial sensors continously monitor G forces and the vehicle's attitude e.g. Is it upside down? There are also inputs to the eCall module for things like airbag deployment. If the eCall module senses an event or if the SOS button is pressed, it makes a voice call to the emergency number. Once connected, the eCall module sends a burst of data (car's WIN, orientation, location, etc.) in an audible stream (like an old analogue modem) and then lets the emergency operator speak with the occupants.

              The eCall module doesn't have a conventional cellular data service and is not permanently connected with anyone.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

            ah, but wouldn't it be wonderful to have it active all the time, say, for times of dire need like a pandemic, or, you know, just in case there is a pandemic, war with Martians, etc, etc. And don't speak to me about mission creep, what mission creep?!

            1. Swiss Anton
              Childcatcher

              Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

              In a recent murder case in Wales, the evidence against the accused was largely based on data sent from their Land Rover Discovery to LR's HQ. The car itself was burnt out after the murder. The data included the expected stuff such as speed and location, and also that the rear tailgate had been opened for a few seconds before the murder. The prosecution inferred that that was when they took the murder weapon out of the car. I call that mission creep, but since the accused were found guilty, then I guess that's all for the good.

              1. JohnG Silver badge

                Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                "In a recent murder case in Wales, the evidence against the accused was largely based on data sent from their Land Rover Discovery to LR's HQ."

                The data was not sent to LR's HQ or anyone else - data was retrieved from the Event Data Recorder module. These modules store data for analysis after a crash and include parameters such as speed, accelerator and brake pedal positions, G forces, etc. But the data can only be retrieved by physically connecting the module to a computer with the relevant software, via a suitable cable.

                1. Swiss Anton

                  Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                  The car was completely burnt out, there is a picture that shows nothing but remaining steel shell. The data module could not have survived that fire. The data could only have come from some external record (which I beleive was LR's HQ)

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                > The data included the expected stuff such as speed and location, and also that the rear tailgate had been opened for a few seconds before the murder. The prosecution inferred that that was when they took the murder weapon out of the car. I call that mission creep, but since the accused were found guilty, then I guess that's all for the good.

                The fact that the tailgate was opened is purely circumstantial since it can't prove what was taken out or put in or just opened. It's yet another thing the police can (ab)use to bamboozle juries.

                1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                  Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                  Why in the name of Zog does a car monitor *when doors are opened*??? Seriously, give me just one good reason, because I cannot think of one.

                  My plan to get an old Range Rover and a Ford Cortina or similar on the next round of replacements just took on more urgency.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                    "Why in the name of Zog does a car monitor *when doors are opened*??? Seriously, give me just one good reason, because I cannot think of one."

                    Because it can. At first a pin switch was fitted so the dome light would turn on when you opened the door. A dead simple circuit. You also knew the door wasn't shut properly if the dome light stayed on or was blinking. The next step was a display on the instrument cluster that may or may not have been a simple switch/lightbulb circuit. Next, designs incorporated Body Control Modules (BCM's) to cut down on wiring by only have to supply data and power leads to the module and very short wires to all of the things like the pin switch, electric locks, power windows, courtesy lights, etc, etc. Once everything is on the CAN bus, recording it is no big deal.

                    It can be more of a nuisance to record the whole bus except for certain things. I found that out working on rockets. Some telemetry was useful some of the time and some all of the time, but it was easier to have two buses and data streams than manage the code to keep shifting what was in the stream since the receiving end would also need to know what to look for to parse out.

                  2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

                    Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                    "Why in the name of Zog does a car monitor *when doors are opened*??? Seriously, give me just one good reason, because I cannot think of one."

                    If the car is driving with the door open it must be on test. How else will VW know when to reduce emissions?

                    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                      "If the car is driving with the door open it must be on test. How else will VW know when to reduce emissions?"

                      Nice one. I hadn't thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense. The only downside is if the tester closes the door, but I guess it's easier to leave the door open with the OBDII connection than to thread the cable through the window.

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                  "but since the accused were found guilty, then I guess that's all for the good."

                  Unless the accused weren't actually the guilty party, of course.

                  When and why did our society decide that an accusation was proof of guilt? Seems that it has become more and more the norm with the rise in anti-social media.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

                    "When and why did our society decide that an accusation was proof of guilt?"

                    Is this about cars or sexual harassment allegations?

                    The "News" can double dip if they run the story that somebody is "really" guilty when they've been accused and then have another story if they are properly tried and convicted. If they are found not-quilty, that isn't likely to be nearly salacious enough to put in the nightly report unless the trial was very public and "of course they are guilty and only got off on a technicality".

          5. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

            "From what I understand, eCall only activates when there's been an accident, "

            That's fine as long as it's an independent system and there is nothing else being transmitted when it hasn't been activated. If their is a bang severe enough to set off the airbags, chances are good that you'll need emergency services. Not 100%, but a tow at least.

            It's been a couple of decades since I've worked in RF, but I've been brushing up a bit. More than just talking on my 10m rig that is. The plan was to buy a used Chevy Bolt this year, but things have put that on hold. My current car is silent as a really silent thing when it comes to broadcasting.

        3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

          Re: That's settled, then.

          Some years back there was a aftermarket swapout for OnStar called CarStar or something akin to it, alas at the time I was looking into it it was no longer being marketed or produced. :(

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's settled, then.

          "After all, they passed the law for the mandatory installation of "eCall" in all cars sold in the EU."

          Yes. Location and speed tracking/sending you *can't* disable. Possibly audio&video recording too.

          Full-fleged Stasi move to track *every car in EU*. No other reason despite BS about "security" when basically everyone everywhere has cell phone.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's settled, then.

          "It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services, the time of incident and the direction of travel (most important on motorways)"

          Reports location *and* speed to Police, in plain English. Totally for automating fines, of course.

          Billions and billions in profit, just like in Finland: 3,5M cars, 200M euros per year in fines, i.e. profit.

          Solely with automated systems, 0 persons involved at any point.

          And it costs 300 euros to challenge the fine in court. That's where the rest of the EU is going with this.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: That's settled, then.

            Reports location *and* speed to Police, in plain English. Totally for automating fines, of course.

            No no no.. It's to help improve road safety and reduce speed-related deaths and injuries. At least that's phase 1. Swiftly followed by road charging. Various governments have been talking about that as a way to fleece motorists for years now, but somewhat stymied by a method to implement it.

            So now new cars will be fitted with the necessary hardware, and there'll be a few years of data collection to help refine charging models. Then there'll be an EU Directive, and it'll be for the good of the environment. And as it's a black box for all new cars, it covers EVs as well so they can be included in replacement tax scams to cover losses from fuel duties.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's settled, then.

          > It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services, the time of incident and the direction of travel (most important on motorways), even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call.

          Presumably EU politicians thought this necessary because of the vast stretches of empty motorway criss-crossing the EU where it's possible to travel for hours at a time, nary seeing another vehicle.

          <snark>

      2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        Why go high-tech with a farady cage when a low-tech wire cutter works just as well?

        1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

          Re: That's settled, then.

          As I mentioned in my original post, until you're 100% certain that the broadcasting bit is not also a critical subsystem of some other component that must be functioning in order for the car to function, you can't risk cutting wires.

          Say the device is linked to the auto-apply-brakes-in-an-emergency system & if it can't call home to verify that you've paid your license fee, it auto-locks the brakes until you've paid your extortion/"insurance premium".

          Wrapping it in a Faraday cage may be the only way to disallow the transmission of data, but make sure it's something that can be undone so you don't trigger any issues if ever taking the car in for service.

          "It looks like someone's cut the wires to $Device. We're sorry but we can't work on this car & have to report you to the police. Stay still Citizen, those nice young men in their clean white HazMat suits will be along shortly to drag you off to a reeducation camp. Have a nice day!"

          *Cough*

          Ok, so I'm paranoid. Leave me alone, my dried frog pills are getting stale...

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: That's settled, then.

            Study the Haynes manual?

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: That's settled, then.

              "Study the Haynes manual?"

              Provided it's in the manual. When it comes to the electrics, I've found Haynes and Chiltons often miss a lot. Tesla doesn't permit manuals on their cars at all. If anything does come out, black boxes will only be an outline with wires going in and out, but no word on how it goes about what it does.

              Every once in a while I'd run across some unusual stuff when I was tearing down cars for fun and profit. Things such as third party electronic kill switches with GPS and a SIM card. Fitted, I'm sure, so lenders felt a bit more comfortable financing a car with somebody that had less than ideal credit. The repo man would know exactly where the car was and it wouldn't be going anywhere before they could get there and take possession of it if the monthly hadn't been paid.

          2. Reginald Onway
            Big Brother

            Re: That's settled, then.

            OnStar can (could?) be disabled by literally taking apart the box, if you could find it, and removing some key part, (possibly, the antenna).

            Strictly DIY because no dealer would touch it or even private mechanics. That was awhile ago. Possibly the device has be hardened now to ensure ubiquitous police state mass surveillance. Crudely cutting wires or pulling connectors would absolutely disable ABS and other functions to the point of making the car un-drivable.

            I suppose locating the antenna and caging it might work. I suspect that's much easier said than done.

            I do wonder who pays for all the bandwidth.

            1. Jens Goerke

              Re: That's settled, then.

              Try replacing the antenna with 2 100 Ohm resistors in parallel - the transmitter won't know the difference, but the ranger will be measured in meters instead of miles.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's settled, then.

        more than useless to do that. many sensors on a car - any car - use short range specialised wifi to communicate with the canbus. disable them and the car will likely not start.

        eg TPMS (Tyre Pressure sensors) - they cant operate via a wire - they are in the tyre. Sure, some models use the velocity sensor in the hub - essential for ABS breaks - but those are more than problematic in themselves.

        ALL car manufacturers are either exploring this, or have solutions in place which are used for fleet management - Toyota/Denso (they manufacture toyotas sensors and comms) are just one of the first to turn it on lower in the food chain.

        If a manufacturer doesnt currently have a way to transmit the data now, it will have soon - but in any event, all the events are recorded on onboard storage now.

        GPS might be disableable in some form - but probably only with a soldering iron.

        If you place such value in privacy, you need a car built in the late naughties - and even then - not in every case.

        ANON as I work in this sector.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: That's settled, then.

          eg TPMS (Tyre Pressure sensors) - they cant operate via a wire - they are in the tyre.

          Incorrect. They operate via a long, long spool of wire held in each wheel hub. As the car drives forward the wire unwinds. At the appointed scheduled service, most of the garage’s time is taken up with spinning the wheel backwards for the appropriate “distance” to re-spool the wire.

          That’s why it’s so vital to observe the 10,000 mile (or whatever) service interval.

          And also why modern cars’ wheels seem to be getting larger and larger - you didn’t think those 20” wheels on your Audi were for ride quality or tyre longevity did you? It’s just so they can fit more TPMS wire in the hub.

          Icon, just in case anyone thinks I am serious —->

          1. saxicola

            Re: That's settled, then.

            Indeed. My SWradio dongle picks up the TPMS data of cars local to me that use 433MHz. I could track the comings and goings of each one, since they all have a UUID in the data. I don't obviously, because that would be wrong.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's settled, then.

          "many sensors on a car - any car - use short range specialised wifi to communicate with the canbus."

          Anyone doing that should be shot at sight. Wifi *leaks everything* to anyone at listening range.

          TPMS is pure money grab, i.e. theft, to start with, so shooting it won't mean a thing.

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: That's settled, then.

          "GPS might be disableable in some form - but probably only with a soldering iron."

          GPS needs an antenna and manufacturers often put them underneath the dash. A small switch can disable that. If the same GPS is used for the built in SatNav, that's a bit of a problem. The GPS modules are so cheap that there is a good chance each device has their own. That way it's less of a problem to replace something with a newer unit and not have to worry about compatibility.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's settled, then.

        No high tech gear needed, there will be one cell module, and it will hardly be a secret. Of course, said module will handle remote diagnostics, WiFi Hotspot, OTA firmware updates, weather/traffic data,, remote start (the high end long range kind), and other stuff, in addition to phoning home to your insurance co. Defanging the module will be as easy as pulling a fuse, or cutting a wire, but you'd lose all other functions.

        Simpler solution: don't sign up for the insurance data link.. That does mean you need to pay attention during the purchase, since lots of times the purchase and financing are both at the dealer (and the lien holder needs to know you have insurance).

    3. Splurg The Barbarian

      Re: That's settled, then.

      Need to add, Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Land/Range Rover, Audi, Volkswagen amongst many others.

      Pretty much every car that has an app allowing you find your car, lock its doors, see journeys etc is sending data back. Sending back accelerator use/pressure, braking speed, location etc . Sorry but if these manufacturers want to make cars that work well, then employ testers to test them, do not use the paying customer as a "free" test base.

      If you went back 15 + years ago, to get that day would have evolved someone waiting outside you house, recording when and what doors were opened, following you recording your speed, route, if you indicated, when you braked etc. They would have been charged with at least a Breach of the Peace, by putting an individual into a state of "fear or alarm". It's done by computers and internet so it's all ok now!!! HTF have we got to this??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's settled, then.

        And Honda. In every new Jazz e-HEV. But hey, if you're not doing anything wrong...

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        "HTF have we got to this??"

        In bite sized morsels. A small convenience here, a fun little function there and the press bad mouthing any subsequent vehicle that doesn't have one of these useless "features" as sub-standard.

        It's like 0-60mph times. One of the most useless specs to argue about. The really fast times are actually more of a safety issue than useful. I watched a video post last night of a Tesla Model 3 going backwards though a gate at an extreme rate of speed (It looked like the car was going backwards). The driver survived and was claiming run away acceleration and no brakes. That will take much proving, but the car was able to accelerate so fast that before the driver could take corrective action, the car was airborne. Where on public highways does a person need to get to 60mph from a standing start in 3 seconds apart from one really annoying on-ramp in Pasadena, CA? Fun? Certainly, but not useful except on a race track. The only time I'm at a race track, I'm on the wrong side of the barrier to be driving fast.

        Yes, it's handy to be able to have the car heat up or cool down while you gulp down the last of your coffee in the morning. Door locks? It can be a convenience, but you might also "butt-dial" your doors open if you put your mobile back in your pocket with the screen still active. Or, you might turn the car on, or have the AC running when you don't intend, etc. Perhaps Ora will export cars from China with the only feature being the reversing camera. As an old fart that has a hard time twisting around, it's handy to have.

    4. tip pc Silver badge

      Re: That's settled, then.

      one of the drivers for 5g is interconnected cars for telemetry, collision avoidance accident notification etc.

      i read something like they where expecting each car to upload gigabytes per day of data.

      Merc & Audi had been working in car to x and others have been developing similar technology.

      https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/connectivity-techday-6597/swarm-intelligencecar-to-x-6602

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6DfzkeQpQ0

      https://readwrite.com/2016/08/11/modular-wireless-connectivity-lear-tl4/

      https://www.carchex.com/research-center/auto-warranties/car-car-communication/

      https://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/01/20170104-convex.html

      This is an organised strategy to develop this type of technology.

    5. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: That's settled, then.

      I suppose there is a remote chance that simply pulling the cover off the fuse box and yanking out the DCM fuse might disable the "feature" while leaving the vehicle usable. If so, the car may still be acceptable. The chance that disabling the DCM will also disable Over The Air software updates -- another spectacularly bad idea that the marketing class will no doubt enthusiastically embrace -- is probably even lower.

      On the whole, this move sounds like a marketing plus -- for Honda, Mazda, Kia. Hyundai. or any manufacturer who doesn't emulate it.

      1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        More than likely the fuse connected to this data upload system is also the same fuse for the entire head unit/GPS system.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: That's settled, then.

          Then we temporarily pull the head unit from the dashboard, locate the essential antenna pins in the wiring harness, remove said pins from being locked into said harness without damaging any components, and replace the head unit back into the dashboard.

          I won't stand for spying. I've warned everyone within earshot that whilst fools and faux 'freedom lovers' rant on about possible government spying, they've been signing on to private corporate spying lock, stock, and barrel. With a "Thank you sir, may I have another!", to boot.

          No.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: That's settled, then.

            Then we temporarily pull the head unit from the dashboard, locate the essential antenna pins in the wiring harness, remove said pins from being locked into said harness without damaging any components, and replace the head unit back into the dashboard.

            And then your car refuses to start, and displays a simple 'check engine' light. Which if you can read the ODBC stuff might then tell you the onboard diagnostics has discovered it can't phone home* and has thus disabled the car (not your car, you just think it's yours) until it can.

            So it'll probably end up needing an emulator to spoof the vehicle's brain into starting. See also Tesla's various onboard brains that utilise encryption so you can't simply replace boards.

            *Or more likely hasn't been able to phone home in X starts/miles/days, but at least in EU-land where it's needed to support road charging, any simple way to bypass this 'black box' would prevent that policy from being implemented.. So it won't be made as simple as removing a SIM.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: That's settled, then.

              ODBC !! Is the car running an old version of MS Office so it can record the data in Access? Make sure you choose the right ODBCAD32 for the right 64 or 32 bit version when you create your DSN.

              Seriously, the OBD2 code reader devices are now very cheap.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: That's settled, then.

                Seriously, the OBD2 code reader devices are now very cheap.

                Yup. Also interesting you can get diagnostic apps to use on your iPhone. But diagnosing apps on your iPhone is a lot more locked down. Apple says 'no peeking (or poking) under our hood!'

                Challenge I guess is getting the data to translate codes into something meaningful, and having read/write access. From watching car vids, it sometimes seems easier to change settings via a phone app than navigating down into the bowels of the cars official UI.. Something auto makers possibly borrowed from MS. I've also been amusing myself watching some car tuners, and the ECU interfaces in tuning software makes that increasingly user friendly.. Although not for the new Corvette C8, where the providers haven't yet seemed to crack that car's brain.

        2. Reginald Onway

          Re: That's settled, then.

          Right.

          For any of the trackers considerable trial and error engineering will be needed to disable it, while manufacturers will work at hardening the devices.

          THEY want to know what we are up to 24/7. It's for our own good. And, of course, to turn a nice profit on selling the loot to data brokers. No doubt juicy .gov contracts are involved also, paid for with our tax dollars.

    6. macjules Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: That's settled, then.

      I worked on the Toyota UK service API a few years ago. Realised that even after NCC had pentested the site that you could call up any car owner's details via /content/firstname-lastname and it would reveal not only their personal data but also the full vehicle history. Fixed the hole but I noticed that nobody went back to NCC and asked them how that one slipped by.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's settled, then.

        The tester was either Dutch or German (van or von) and they only pentested last names with spaces...

    7. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: That's settled, then.

      > having your own car spy on you is a good idea

      Of course! How else will it be able to inundate you with ads about shops you're driving by?

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I will never again purchase, nor will I ever recommend, a Toyota

      as with facebook and other issues, you're fighting a lost war, I'm afraid, people don't care that they'll be fucked later (and fucked continuously) as long as they can get a "cheaper!" "discount!", etc - NOW. A wonderful twist on comrade Lenin: We will sell them the rope with which we will hang them.

    9. Mark192 Bronze badge

      Re: That's settled, then.

      "How fucked up is it that someone, somewhere, thinks that having your own car spy on you is a good idea?"

      About as fucked up as carrying a smartphone in your pocket - ar least you leave the car in the car park.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        I don't carry a so-called "smart" phone. In fact, I rarely carry any cell phone at all. I see no need to always be electronically leashed to the rest of the planet.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        "About as fucked up as carrying a smartphone in your pocket - ar least you leave the car in the car park."

        Hang out with me and see how many times the phone gets left at home or in the car. The upside is WF,BT,DATA and GPS are all off by default. I only turn them on when I'm using them. I have a stand alone SatNav in the car and don't use the phone for that. When I use Torque Pro on a trip, I use an old phone with no SIM card so my phone that works as a phone is ready if I need it. I managed to get the phone co to disable text on my line. That took some doing.

    10. wolfetone

      Re: That's settled, then.

      I bet you're an Audi driver, aren't you?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: That's settled, then.

        What did I say to deserve THAT insult, Sir? I'm appalled.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's settled, then.

      On the bright side, a lot of manufacturers will probably go this way and, if any one is going to actually get it right, it will be Toyota.

    12. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: That's settled, then.

      "How fucked up is it that someone, somewhere, thinks that having your own car spy on you is a good idea?"

      Well, Tesla owners are signing up for the spyware nearly 100% of the time. If they don't, features such as the phone app, maps updates and maybe access to Superchargers is not available.

      Toyota is just playing catch up in this arena. Think of it as a business opportunity. Many new car owners are going to want to shut off many of these "features" so hackers that add the off switch in hardware or software may have a thriving business. The laws in your country may vary, but in the US, disconnecting the antenna or another hardware mod shouldn't run afoul of the law. Reverse engineering software is a Federal crime, but that just means you charge more for it to take the risk. Put money away for a good attorney or do a prepaid service that's similar to insurance for lawsuits.

      I'm not going to voluntarily have my car ratting me out for a nebulous reduction in insurance rates. It might horribly backfire if there is some bug and wind up costing the moon to get sorted.

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge

    It might work...

    ... in countries used to mass surveillance.

    Europe is not listed. I guess Toyota is a little bit afraid of GDPR with its spying car, and rightly so. Can't wait for the next 'whoops' from Toyota saying that by mistake of course everything said in the car was recorded and sent to AWS.

    1. Flywheel Silver badge

      Re: It might work...

      countries used to mass surveillance... Europe is not listed

      Maybe Europe (and the UK by implication, for now) isn't actually aware of the surveillance, and just how much of it there is.

      1. not.known@this.address Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: It might work...

        "Maybe Europe (and the UK by implication, for now) isn't actually aware of the surveillance, and just how much of it there is."

        Thank you for my biggest, most heartfelt laugh of the day!

    2. John Jennings Bronze badge

      Re: It might work...

      No - EU is included - just on a different URL you need to search for.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I'm trying to remember

    How many times I've gone into a car showroom and asked them to sell me something that reports my every move to some indeterminate server.

    Now I don't buy new cars very often, but lemme see... ah, yes, that would be none.

    The only ways this sort of rubbish is ever going to stop is if Joe Public refuses to have anything to do with companies and products that do it, or the advertisers - and believe me, the majority of this information will go to advertisers - are nuked from orbit.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: I'm trying to remember

      "How many times I've gone into a car showroom and asked them to sell me something that reports my every move to some indeterminate server."

      To be fair, I've never walked into a car showroom and asked for a car that does NOT do that. It's been sort of taken for granted, like I never really specified that I want the wheels to be round.

      Truth is, 99% of customers won't ask or know about this, just like they don't ask or know how long the in-car software is supported and bug-fixed

      1. hoola Bronze badge

        Re: I'm trying to remember

        Just like all the information people give to Facebook, Amazon and Twitter. They simply don't care and this sort of functionality actually appears to them (for about 2 days).

        It is all about data, the more they can collect the more potential value these companies have. As with everything else it will only be addressed when it is too late.

      2. keith_w Bronze badge

        Re: I'm trying to remember

        Are you expecting the sale staff to be aware of this information?

        1. A K Stiles Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I'm trying to remember

          Nope, but I'm sure they'll confidently give you an answer, verbally.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: I'm trying to remember

            You mean they will lie through their teeth to make a sale?

            Yep.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: I'm trying to remember

          Yes, I do expect them to be aware of it. How else will they be able to lie convincingly to the GreatUnwashed?

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: I'm trying to remember

      "Now I don't buy new cars very often, but lemme see... ah, yes, that would be none."

      The used car you buy a few years from now will be a new car now.

      Joe Public wants the new shiny features. They can't be bothered to manually open the charging port door or fitting a key in a lock and giving it a turn. They can't even be fussed to push a button for that anymore.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg Readers, it's time to coin Toyota's next UK model to be released... 'The Amber Rudd'.

    El Reg Readers, it's time to coin Toyota's next UK model to be released...

    'The Amber Rudd'.

    With the byline: "Toyota, it's the car for Amber, because of it's built-in cloud surveillance"

    To quote Amber Rudd:

    "Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect unbreakable security"

    Of course, we do Amber, of course we do. /s

    And no, we're not sneering. #Hashtags encryption.

    You have to wonder though how much of this is part of the deal to keep Toyota in the UK after Brexit, after Theresa May's undisclosed sweeteners promised to Toyota.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: El Reg Readers, it's time to coin Toyota's next UK model to be released... 'The Amber Rudd'.

      "Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect unbreakable security"

      Of course, we do Amber, of course we do. /s

      Well, yes. We do. The popularity of insecure but easy to use software is strong evidence for this, but if you want proof, I can provide it: For unbreakable security switch off your mobile phone, put it in an industrial blender for five minutes then burn the remains.

      Or would you prefer to prove Amber correct by retaining its current features?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: El Reg Readers, it's time to coin Toyota's next UK model to be released... 'The Amber Rudd'.

      [quote]You have to wonder though how much of this is part of the deal to keep Toyota in the UK after Brexit, after Theresa May's undisclosed sweeteners promised to Toyota.[/quote]

      Really? Did you bother reading the article? The UK and Europe are NOT on the list of countries "benefitting" from this software - that is, we are not getting it. Are you one of those Remain voters who sees Leave voters under every rock? What will you do for an encore? Say 'black is white' and get run over on the next pedestrian crossing? Presumably by one of your fantasy Toyotas telling the mothership it's found you and solved the problem?

      Who knows, maybe you've stumbled on the secret truth and they really will come to get you...

  5. elkster88
    Big Brother

    This is but the nose of the proverbial ...

    Rest assured, the other bits, including both humps, will soon be squarely in the tent.

    I won't be surprised when this is SOP for all cars, and in fact I expect it will eventually be illegal to disconnect or tamper with the government mandated spy system(s).

    They'll need to replace fuel tax when all cars go electric, for one thing. No doubt the powers that be can come up with as many other excuses as needed. Joe Public won't care so long as the car's got plenty of USB outlets and multiple cup holders.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: This is but the nose of the proverbial ...

      "I won't be surprised when this is SOP for all cars, and in fact I expect it will eventually be illegal to disconnect or tamper with the government mandated spy system(s)."

      Possibly, but many higher profile people will pay well to make sure THEIR cars aren't recording/broadcasting their information. Even if you get popped for doing some mods, having a couple of politicians or cinema/pop stars on your client list may expedite the dismissal of any charges.

  6. TVC

    I suppose if I buy a new can I'll just have to get it wrapped in tin foil.

  7. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo
    Holmes

    Three words: leaky AWS buckets

    How long until drivers' data bubbles up on the internets due to mis-managed AWS buckets?

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Three words: leaky AWS buckets

      Why do you think its not already there, and leaking?

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Three words: leaky AWS buckets

      "How long until drivers' data bubbles up on the internets due to mis-managed AWS buckets?

      3, 2, 1.................

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    good joke

    Seriously, who would buy a car that reports their driving behaviour to anyone, let alone an insurance company?

    eeewww what a feeling :(

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: good joke

      Black box insurance deals have been available for many years, and have been popular with young drivers because they allow for much lower premiums.

      I’m guessing this won’t be popular with the average Audi driver. Personally I’d be happy that a person can’t lie their way out of an accident they caused because they were being a twat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: good joke

        Remember the Toyota 'stuck accelerator pedal' recall

        Now it could be reported straight to your insurer that you were driving erratically at the time you rear-ended the car in front...

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: good joke

        Yeahbut ... those "black box insurance deals" were not only optional, but you were fully informed as to their nature, and what they were doing. This new telemetry that is built into cars? Not so much.

        Audi, Subaru, Opel, BMW, whatever took the fancy of the local prats in your jurisdiction (it varies from country to country, state to state, county to county) ... Chances are good that they couldn't lie their way out of it anyway, before automotiveSPYware started becoming inflicted on the rest of us.

        Essentially, automotiveSPYware assumes that all drivers are criminals. I don't do business with companies which assume I am a criminal, and thus they have a right to invade my privacy without so much as a by-your-leave.

        And for GAWD/ESS sake, don't you DARE hit me with the totally bogus "If you're not doing anything wrong, what have you got to be afraid of?" line of bullshit. Unless, of course, you have a plate-glass window to the outside world installed in your shower. You're not guilty of anything whilst showering, right?

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: good joke

          "And for GAWD/ESS sake, don't you DARE hit me with the totally bogus "If you're not doing anything wrong, what have you got to be afraid of?" line of bullshit."

          Cory Doctorow talks about this sort of thing and makes a very good distinction between secrecy and privacy. We all have things that we keep secret and many many things that we keep private. A very short Q&A with somebody that "has nothing to hide" turns up a great many things they'd rather keep a lid on.

    2. Ashentaine
      Big Brother

      Re: good joke

      Considering the ever-increasing number of people who consider their car to be an expensive appliance and lease instead of buying because they are led to believe that it's cheaper than long-term maintenence, and considering those same people will see anything the car company touts as a "convenience feature" to be a good thing... probably a lot.

      I mean, people are already comfortable with plugging their cellphone directly into a car and giving it free reign to grab up whatever data it wants, so security clearly isn't on their top 10 priorities list.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: good joke

        "I mean, people are already comfortable with plugging their cellphone directly into a car and giving it free reign to grab up whatever data it wants, so security clearly isn't on their top 10 priorities list."

        People will do that in a hire car without knowing how to delete that data when they turn it back. Children and thei................... Squirrel!

    3. spold Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: good joke

      Indeed - if it is your car then, legitimately, you can send a GDPR access to information request to get all the location and timing data.... perhaps including regarding all the wife's and teen children's trips when they were using the car. That one should be interesting as it plays out. Of course, from the insurance point of view, you are inextricably bound to such data even if you were not driving... OK V2.0 will have video to record who is actually in the car... no problem there...

  9. Graybyrd
    Boffin

    Feel it creeping on...

    Here in Trumpica, states have long worried about declining revenues. Electric vehicles and now, social distancing 'stay at home' shutdowns, and soaring budget deficits have the states frantic for new $$ources. Already proposed and seriously considered: "per mile" tax in lieu of (or in addition to) the per-gallon fuel tax. So... what better way than to legislatively tap into the auto cloud data. Recorded speeding? Compare to limit at GPS location; auto-send the violation. Serial incidents? Escalate the fine schedule. Miles driven per day/week/month/year? Auto-assess the road-mile tax. Location and chrono data? Compare with crime reports. Auto-investigate for possible link. Travel to proscribed areas? Illegal border crossing? Leaving quarantine area? Gathering with other "suspect" vehicles for clandestine meetings? And so on... and on. Total integration with assorted agencies.

    Lest one think this far-fetched (maybe, a bit) realize that for decades now, every commercial carrier truck on the highways carries GPS-location data record/transmit systems (think "Qualcomm") that the NTSB and ICC have absolutely lusted to get their hands on. Only very strong industry lobbying and reluctant (paid-for) legislators have kept that data-trove sealed as "private & privileged" corporate info. That, and the fact that slavish adherence to federal regulations would put most drivers off the road, most rigs in parking lots, and most shippers screaming for rate relief.

    But we all know.... if the means is there, and big eyes are lusting for it, it will eventually happen. Yeh, our car is 21 years old. They still make parts for it. Our local shop greets us like family. And my pickup truck is even older. My diesel mechanic sends me Christmas cards. BUT... there is NO tracking or spyware in either vehicle. Just the auto-triggered license plate reader on the WSP Trooper vehicle down the road that ID's my plate every time I drive by. I wave. He scowls. I guess it's the world we've come to accept. Ain't progress great?

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Feel it creeping on...

      I'm in the same boat with my car... a now 23 year old Toyota.

      Most anything that goes wrong with that car I can fix, and parts are still available for it. I can fix it largely because it's electrics are simple and don't complain to the ECU whenever I change a light bulb without dealer approval.

      I really, really like the idea of a car that I am capable of understanding. I really don't like the idea of a car that's specifically built to squeeze every extra drop of cash out of me by either selling my data, locking me into using overpriced parts, or even being so needlessly over-complicated that repairs become frequent and costly.

  10. Denarius Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Too Late

    Toyota just planning ahead. In the ever extending hunt for money, gummints are looking at distance traveled for registration fees. Supposedly to "reduce" costs but as in Oz, the GST removed none or few of the more nefarious state taxes it was sold as removing. No doubt with AI, implemented as simple inference engine, fines will be automated from compulsory data. All for our own safety of course.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Too Late

      "In the ever extending hunt for money, gummints are looking at distance traveled for registration fees."

      That's a good way to penalize people for not living in the most populated areas. It's a fair distance from my house to the nearest town with a wide range of shops so I put on more miles than somebody living in a large town that only has a mile to go for their weekly shop.

      A fee based on mileage is ok if it's inline with a medium mileage ICE vehicle. Some US states assess a bigger penalty on EV owners at registration time than what they'd pay in fuel taxes. The weight of the car should matter too. A small compact is doing less damage to the roads than a 5 ton V8 pickup.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So now the consumer needs to contemplate owning a "burner car".....

    ....in addition to having multiple "burner phones" around the house.

    *

    Also requires the car be bought with cash....

    *

    My personal plan is to buy a second hand Morris 1000 Traveller......problem solved.

    *

    P.S. We've already seen problems with these high tech SECOND HAND cars retaining the identity of the previous owner after the sale. That Morris 1000 Traveller just seems attractive in SO many ways!

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: So now the consumer needs to contemplate owning a "burner car".....

      I mean, a Morris 1000 Traveller would be nice, but anything from up to the mid-noughties should be fairly hands off, data wise.

      I've got an E46 330i - no remote gubbins in that.

      Basically if it didn't come with GPS as standard, it's probably a good bet it's got no cellular access either.

      Steven R

  12. RPF

    Screw that, I'll stick to my trusty low-tech British car (e.g. Lotus) to have nothing like that fitted!

    Although the engine is from a Toyota, now I think about it.....Yikes!

    1. dak

      My old car is pure Lotus (apart from the Ford, Triumph, Riley, etc. parts).

      Refurbishment continues, it should be my daily driver again later this year :)

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    At about 7,000 miles per year I'll have to hope that our two current cars are enough to see us through to the end of our driving days.

    1. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      It is not just the mileage

      Rubber seals, gaskets, tyres/tires, filters, brakes... there are all sorts of consumables that need to be replaced on a fairly regular basis even if a vehicle is not used very often so unfortunately there are no guarantees (I have never changed a set of brakes at the "required" service interval - time or distance - but then I know what I am looking for. I doubt most people these days even know what the brakes look like except as a shiny disk through the holes in their alloys...)

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      > see us through to the end of our driving days

      While I agree, older cars can easily be outlawed (pollution comes to mind) if the powers decide that they really want that source of information...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What about houses?

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Time to mod it to a EV.

      3. jake Silver badge

        Not as easy as you might think.

        "older cars can easily be outlawed"

        Here in the United States it would be political suicide for a politician to suggest even thinking about such a thing. Virtually every family has at least one old car that is considered a family heirloom ... be it Granpa's old pickup, granma's old Caddy or Lincoln, mom or dad's first pony car, an aging British import, or some other much-loved antique. Attempting to outlaw these vehicles would be akin to forced euthanization of all family pets. It is not going to happen.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Not as easy as you might think.

          > considered a family heirloom

          Sure, but still: Just declare them to be "collection" vehicles and limit their use through indirect ways (for instance by making driving them more expensive). Won't affect much the rich, or people living in the boonies, but those are a minority anyway. Most people live in (peri)urban areas and have limited budgets, and those will have to comply.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Not as easy as you might think.

            These old cars aren't owned by "the rich"[0], who don't drive their garage queens anyway. Rather, they are owned and driven by blue collar workers, the middle class poor, the GreatUnwashed, and yes the farmers and other rural folks (a far larger group than you seem to think). By some estimates, there are over 50,000,000 vehicles on US roads that are over 40 years old. That translates to a LOT of votes.

            If you attempt to get rid of what these people perceive as their legacy, as a politician you will be in the bread-line right next to them after the next election. The slimy bastards know it, too. It ain't going to happen.

            [0] Whoever that is in a first world country ...

            1. ThatOne Silver badge

              Re: Not as easy as you might think.

              > These old cars aren't owned by "the rich"

              That's not what I said. I just said that people who have money to spare would be less affected than those who barely get by.

              .

              > If you attempt to get rid

              I said "make it more complicated and/or expensive to own or use such a car". Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just suggesting that there might be some political means to eventually, over a period, put most (not all) people off their old cars. They managed to do it in Europe by mandating a compulsory yearly "technical control" most older cars (we're not speaking about lovingly restored ones here, just plain old cars) were unlikely to pass unless you spent lots of money fixing them. It took some time, AFAIK about a decade, but the fact is now you rarely see older cars in the streets - except for, as I said, lovingly restored ones (which isn't everybody's cup of tea).

              (For the record, my current car is 13 years old and my bike is from last century, and I plan to keep them for as long as possible.)

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "While I agree, older cars can easily be outlawed (pollution comes to mind) if the powers decide that they really want that source of information..."

        They won't be outlawed per se, the registration fees will just continue to rise until the car is worth less than the annual taxes.

        China charges $10,000 for the number plate on an ICE with limits. It's no charge for number plates to go on an EV. They don't have to "ban" anything. Nor do they really need to subsidize either.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Yes, that was my point. When there is a will there is a way.

        2. jake Silver badge

          "They won't be outlawed per se, the registration fees will just continue to rise until the car is worth less than the annual taxes."

          Not here in the US ... That would put people who can't afford a new car ("poor people") at a distinct financial disadvantage. The courts will never stand for it.

          And again, if any politician even hints that s/he/it might support such an idea, they will most likely find themselves tarred & feathered and run out of town on the rail.

    3. jake Silver badge

      One answer that works well.

      Instead of purchasing a new car, restore an old one. A frame-up restoration, with yourself doing most of the grunt work (so-called "sweat equity"), can run half the cost of a modern similar vehicle.

      Along the way, for very little more money, you can give it modern brakes, drive train, seating/carpet/interior, air conditioning, and electrical system (including lights). Full roll cages and other safety related equipment optional.

      The end result can be you driving the car of your teenage or early/mid 20s dreams, which is not to be sneered at ... only your new version can be better looking, better mechanically, and better ergonomically than the original.

  14. DavidC Surrey

    They are not popular with young drivers. They are imposed upon some young drivers by their tight or over-cautious parents. I didn't/don't subject my kids to that. Several kids at my kids' schools had them and cursed them constantly. Insurance companies now ask you if you have a dashcam fitted to your car. Say no even if you have, because if you have a prang they will make you show it to them and if you don't or can't they have an excuse not to pay up.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I'll put it another way, a lot of young drivers use them, not because they are imposed but because they can bring a four figure premium down to under £500. It's not about parents when these young drivers are working and paying for their own cars.

      Dash cams are also a very good thing. And with current tech there is no guarantee that the average £100 dash cam works reliably so they will pay up.

      A lot of Audi drivers are opposed to dash cams etc because it means that they can't get away with being wankers on the roads without witnesses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "because they can bring a four figure premium down to under £500."

        Which literally shows what kind of value tracking and spying *is for the insurance company*. Sellable hard data.

        >£500 per yer per car. That's a lot of money. Just for selling *all of your privacy* in car.

        Also insurance company *makes profit* out of it, you can bet on that.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Of course they make a profit out of it, they are a business. Talk about STFO.

          As for £500 to sell all the privacy, that’s often a choice between that and not driving because the cost of being private is £2000+.

  15. denisbergeron

    Toyota software are total BS

    Has an owner of a "Toyota Prius Prime 2020 Upgrade" I can tell you that every piece of software and design in this car are a piece of cr.p.

    Everything from cruise control to the gaz pedal have bug on it.

    In my car, even the radio turner have bugs on it.

    The GPS have a normal error of 50 to 500 meters. When I use, my phone GPS, under the dash, it have better positioning that the onboard GPS that have its antenna is on the top of the car.

    So Toyota announcing another app, that will put my car in the other street usualy in a opposite one way where I am, built a lot of fear in me.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Toyota software are total BS

      As the owner of a Toyota CH-R until it goes in a week or two (because it’s not being used much since COVID), that’s not my experience at all. GPS especially is very accurate. I think it’s antenna is printed on the back of the windscreen glass.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd much rather have my insurance rate...

    based on my 25-year driving history with 0 tickets and 0 accidents my fault. Pretty sure they don't need my speed and location to confirm I'm a safe driver.

    1. CommanderGalaxian

      Re: I'd much rather have my insurance rate...

      They do now. Clearly you have been a maniac just waiting for the right time to outfox them.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: I'd much rather have my insurance rate...

      As someone else with knocking on 15 years of zero tickets and zero accidents, it could just be because you're good at not getting caught or having *big* prangs. I've had a couple of brown trouser moments in my driving time, but never been pulled by a copper, or out of a ditch.

      That said, I do tend to use common sense and don't take the piss - haring through blind corners at speed, mashing and sawing in town, etc.

      I mean, famous last words and all that....

      Steven R

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " for driver and passenger safety, security, comfort, and convenience”."

    Any of those items mentioned "will not be implemented". Oops. Only spying and "tracking" will.

    So *all* of that is bullshit, of course. Toyota is already making deals with insurers to provide *your* "driving profile" to your insurer so they've an excuse to steal more money from you.

    Literal and major privacy breach: Voice and picture, speed, speed variance, location: Everything. *Anything they can collect and sell* will be sold in real time to anyone who wants to buy it. Your insurance company of course is the first buyer.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    many models in Japan, the USA and China

    let me guess why not in Europe?

    a) small, backwater market

    OR

    b) legal concerns over "privacy" (that we, at toyota, are proud to support when we want to demonstrate how cuddly we are)

  19. CommanderGalaxian

    GDPR says that people cannot be judged or disavantaged on the basis of automated algorithms. And that they have the right to opt out of such algorithms without prejudice.

    1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Hmmm, A levels, BTECs, GCSEs.....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coming soon to the UK and their new self-driving vehicles announcement ...

    Alexa ... drive me home because I'm pissed as a fart!

  21. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff
    FAIL

    Cars Should Be Air-Gapped (Except for Radios)

    What happens when the next script kid hacks into 20,000 Toyotas and shuts them down during rush out, or worse, sets the throttles to 11 and disables the brakes.

    1. anonymousI

      Re: Cars Should Be Air-Gapped (Except for Radios)

      That will, of course, be entirely the fault of the nerd yoof involved.

      Nothing at all to do with the enthusiastic godparents: Toyota and the officials "protecting" our privacy.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Cars Should Be Air-Gapped (Except for Radios)

      "What happens when the next script kid hacks into 20,000 Toyotas and shuts them down during rush out"

      Forget the malcontents, what happens when an "organized" group threatens to shut down 5% of the cars on a busy stretch of the M25 of a Friday evening unless <insert demand here>? And to show the capability, does a little demonstration on the M1 just west of Luton or right in the London city centre for 10 minutes. If they can target precisely, it might be just at level crossings.

      In my other life, I was a complete basta.....

  22. wolfetone

    I don't see the problem

    The phone in your pocket is already telling the men in black where you're going, how fast you're going, how long you stay in a single spot.

    Why can't Toyota?

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: I don't see the problem

      "The phone in your pocket is already telling the men in black where you're going, how fast you're going, how long you stay in a single spot.

      Why can't Toyota?"

      I keep WF, BT, GPS and data shut off on my phone unless I'm actively using them. There wouldn't be the equivalent "off" setting in the Toyota other than, perhaps, opting out of their data harvesting. Tesla does that, but you lose some of the best features of the car if you do that. No OTA, no map updates, no satnav, no pre-cooling/heating and maybe no access to the Superchargers. You either accept the tracking or get a crippled car.

      Again, I see this sort of thing as a business opportunity for people to reverse engineer what the car companies are doing and coming up with work-arounds and off-switches that can be sold to customers willing to pay for their privacy.

  23. Unoriginal Handle

    The biggest gripe I've got with any sort of telematics which sends driving-related data to anyone, including insurance companies, is not the data itself but the poor interpretation.

    Anyone who's done some sort of advanced driver training ( most likely in the UK, I've not seen it very prevalent else where) of the likes of IAM or RoSPA's ROADAR scheme ( https://www.iamroadsmart.com/ or https://www.roadar.org.uk/ ) will drive considerably differently than anyone else, and safer. That doesn't preclude firmer braking or harder acceleration, but both those activities would be pinged by

    And a friend was hit by a young driver with telematics - he was too fast round a bend on a country round and while she stopped in a few feet, his marks were measured at about 45 yards. Telematics don't make things safer at the time, they tell you after the fact (or possibly not - what's too fast on a 60 mph piece of road where in reality 25-30mph is the top safe speed in the case above).

    The way to better safer driving is to give the human the skills and the attitudes to deal adequately with anything the road might throw at them, and the only way to do that is to offer good insurance discounts for people with a demonstrated desire to improve their driving. But that's not going to happen unless it's mandated, so I'll keep my as-little-computerised-as-possible car off the Internet and drive it in the way I've been trained, and out of the way of everyone else out there who's not.

    1. Smirnov

      most likely in the UK, I've not seen it very prevalent else where

      The thing you overlook is that driving training in the UK is so poor that it requires something called "advanced motor training" to at least somewhat approach the training levels a regular driver from another country like Germany. UK drivers are amongst the worst drivers in Europe, and that is even without the UK suffering from the amount of transit traffic that goes through many countries in mainland Europe.

      There are advanced driving courses in other countries but most of them aren't really comparable to those in the UK as their teaching standard is a lot higher.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: most likely in the UK, I've not seen it very prevalent else where

        Bullshit. And the EU-wide RTA figures prove it:

        https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_19_1990

        Get back under your bridge.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This Is Great!

    I envisage an Audi, in the future, denouncing its arsehole driver for tailgating other drivers whilst flashing their highbeams. The possibilities are endless!! Game on.

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