Imagine if your insurance company knew about it immediately every time you drove faster than any speed limit, anywhere. That you failed to come to a complete dead stop at every stop sign before proceeding – regardless of the need to come to a complete dead stop.
Every instance of seatbelt scofflawism.
That you drove eight hours straight to visit friends in another state; that last Thursday, you “accelerated aggressively” while trying to merge with traffic. That you turned off the traction control the other day – and squealed the tires.
And here comes the bill, custom-tailored just for you.
This is what Elon Musk has in mind next. The King of Mandated Business is getting into the insurance business – a logical thing since car insurance is the original mandated business that set the precedent for the rest of them. It’s an even better business than the electric car business because everyone has to buy car insurance, if they own a car – even if it’s not an electric car.
But Elon’s got a a new take on the business. Or rather, a new way to take.
He wants to base premiums not on your record – of accidents and claims – but on data about your driving, mined in real-time as you drive. Which, just by happy coincidence, his cars are fully equipped to provide.
Already do provide.
“The data is there,” smacked the lips of Matthew Edmonds – who is Teslian Head of Insurance, Elon’s new Underboss. “It’s all there; cameras in and all around your car; all of the data points are there.”
Elon knows all. He just hasn’t been able to monetize it, yet.
“It really comes down to case law and how much of the data we can utilize,” says Underboss Edmonds. Italicized to emphasize the fact that the data acquisition is an already established fact – regardless of “case law.”
So it’s a simple legal matter of getting the laws changed. How difficult will this be, do you suppose?
Recently, Tesla owners have been discovering that their cars aren’t just plugged in to wall sockets; they are also plugged in to Elon. The cars are like two-way radios that are always on, with Elon sending “updates”- including “updates” that arbitrarily alter the range of the car, without the “owner’s” consent or even knowledge . . until he looks at the dashboard and discovers that his car now only goes 180 miles on a full charge – maybe – rather than 220 (also maybe) the day before.
Elon could – and has – reduced the range of the cars under his control to zero. So far, temporarily – while an “app” updated. But the point should be taken. Elon has the power to prevent any Tesla owner from driving at all.
Think about this a bit.
What if you offend Elon? Or the Big Tech Panopticon? Can there be any doubt in anyone’s mind that the same electronic oligarchs – and Elon’s one of them – who summarily “de-platform” and “de-monetize” people whose views transgress the orthodoxies of our era will refrain from using the same power to de-wheel people?
Depressingly, it’s not just Teslas.
They are currently the most “connected” cars on the road but not the only “connected” cars on the road. Every new car has some degree of connected tech baked into it.
And it’s not just Elon. All the insurance “families” are wanting the same thing Elon wants. Right now, you can still still opt out of being monitored – and dunned as you drive.
How long do you suppose this will last?
Resistance will be futile. Or at least, driving will be. Any driving you might want to do yourself, that is.
Elon claims that real-time data streaming about people’s driving will result in “safe drivers” getting a break on insurance costs. Which they may – at the cost of Universal Cloverism, complete obedience to every traffic law, no matter how absurd.
If it’s illegal, it’s chargeable. In the monetary rather than electric sense.
All cars will drive at the same “safe” – read, slow – pace. Creeping along in formation. The least common denominator will be the measure and applied equally, to all.
For a teeth-aching preview of what it will be like, the next time you go for a drive obey every traffic law to the letter. Accelerate – and brake – “gently.” Pass no one – unless you can manage it without exceeding whatever the posted speed limit is. Stop fully – and wait a three second count – at every stop sign before proceeding, regardless of the absence of other cars in the vicinity.
This will of course encourage people to simply give up driving – and let the Autopilot (programmed by Clovers) take over.
Which is exactly what the long-term goal is: To end driving altogether by making it either an insufferable bore or impossibly expensive, by dunning every instance of “unsafe” (non-Clover) driving.
The pieces are all coming together.
It’s a shame people can’t see it. Or maybe it’s worse. They do see it – and just don’t care anymore.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.