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This seems like a fairly simple project. A GPS device is built-in to the vehicle, and the vehicle's position is recorded at regular intervals, perhaps every 10 miles or so. A string of latitude and longitude characters and the mileage point would be written, which is not a large bit of data. Doing
this every 10 miles would result in 10,000 records over 100,000 miles of vehicle use. Optionally the time could be recorded as well.
The information would be accessed through a port connection inside the vehicle, perhaps. Hook it up to a standard notebook computer, and run one of many software packages for vehicle travel analysis that would be available. Some very basic programs would just dump the text out in a file; others might generate a full color map with route lines and time shuttling, indicate the percentage of 'highway' or 'city' miles, etc.
There are several useful purposes for this. The most obvious one is a history report when purchasing 'pre-owned' vehicles. It would be useful to know if the little old lady in Gainesville, FL, who only drove the car to church on Sundays was withholding the fact that the church in question is in North Dakota.
This would be extremely useful for trip logging in the trucking industry. It might also have uses in criminal investigations. "Well, Mr. Smith, according to your car's GPS report, you WERE at the murder scene that night!"
Obviously there would need to be some Big Brother protection schemes in place to prevent misuse and unauthorized access of the information.
The Invasive government would like to talk to you about your idea... [hippo, Jul 22 2002]
GPS Mileage Tracker
[Helium, Jul 22 2002]
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||This is pretty much what the UK Transport Minister suggested a couple of days ago, only he wants it to be compulsory, to enable the Government to charge car-owners for driving on roads.
||NIce idea. Inspiring me to come up with a GPS odour-meter. Croissant for you, jeers for me.
||A company I have shares in does this with the company cars used by staff. It not only gives updates every few minutes but can provide a backdated printout of everywhere the cars have been, providing route maps if requested.
||I might add that we're not trying to keep track of untrustworthy staff, GPS installation is part of what the company does, and boys _will_ play with the toys.
||This kind of thing is used in the trucking and transport industry. GPS, especially within the vehicle industry, has a lot of people constantly seeking new things to bake so it is tougher to come up with something completely original.
||Sign away your right to privacy! Who would willingly allow themselves to be tracked everywhere they drive? Sure it sounds like a good idea for everyone *else*, but would you want someone somewhere making a list of everywhere you've been? I rather enjoy my privacy, thank you.
||You must have something to hide, thc... <removes tongue from cheek>