Oregon – home of things uber trendy – has become the first state to begin dunning motorists by the mile rather than by the gallon.
The “pilot” program begins July 1 — and will be implemented by the Oregon DOT in partnership with something called Sanef ITS Technologies America and Intelligent Mechatronic Systems. Sounds a lot like Cyberdyne Systems from the Terminator movies, doesn’t it? And the similarities run a lot deeper than that.
To make this work (for Uncle) your car must be fitted with some type of real-time monitoring device that keeps track of your mileage and reports it to Uncle (well, his helpers) who will then either send you a bill or perhaps automatically debit your account.
Kind of like federal tax withholding on wheels.
In Oregon, this means a little widget like the one you may have seen the white-coated Progressive Insurance Lady hawking. It plugs into the Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) port that all cars manufactured since the mid-1990s have. Then ties into your car’s computer, where the data about your mileage and (cue Darth Sideous voice) many other things are stored. Including your speed, rate of acceleration, whether you’re wearing a seatbelt.
You probably can see where that’s headed.