Via The Back Door

Buried in the “Infrastructure’ bill is, well, a curious bit of “infrastructure” indeed:

Within a few years, you may have to convince your own car you’re fit to drive every time you get behind the wheel. The Biden administration’s massive infrastructure bill, which the House is expected to take up later this month, includes a provision directing the Secretary of Transportation to develop regulations that will require new cars to contain “advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology.”

The law would give regulators two to three years to develop rules mandating technology that would “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired” as well as “passively and accurately detect whether the blood alcohol concentration of a driver of a motor vehicle” exceeds legal limits. Automakers would have a further three years to comply, though the bill provides leeway for delay if the technology isn’t up to snuff yet—because the tech the bill is requiring is still in development.

Classifying “spying on people via their cars” as “infrastructure” is, if you think about it, disturbingly honest

14 thoughts on “Via The Back Door

  1. The market for 20th century cars will explode.

    I can see it now: “1990 Ford F150; no spyware, no computer on board. Just a little rust. 150,000 miles on rebuilt, carbureted, straight 6 engine; brakes good, tires fair.
    Drive it home today for $50,000”

  2. 1990 Ford F150; no spyware, no computer on board. Just a little rust. 150,000 miles on rebuilt, carbureted, straight 6 engine; brakes good, tires fair.
    Drive it home today for $50,000”

    Gas station not included.

  3. Dunno NW. I drove the above mentioned, 1990 F150 to Minnesota when I moved there (it was rust free the first year), it got pretty good mileage. Straight 6 motors are bullet proof….wish I still had it, tbh

  4. It would probably be easier to just mandate that cars are all self driving and don’t have a steering wheel.

  5. Whether it’s Smith’s plan or the apparent President Zero plan, the end result is the same; we’d be putting our lives in the hands of the same guys who gave us the blue screen of death. What could possibly go wrong?

  6. Bill:
    I know what you mean.
    The Ford 300 c. i. straight 6 is literally bulletproof. My uncle had a 1972 Camper Special with one of those on his farm. It was parked in one of his sheds, aka pole barn. Thankfully, that one had a concrete floor, but the truck sat for 10 years after he died. About four years ago, my cousins, brother and I were out there pheasant hunting. It started raining and we were looking for something to do until the rain stopped. Well, we got a wild hair and decided to see if it would start. We drained the old gas and flushed the lines, replacing a couple of rubber ones, changed the oil, then cranked it. On the third try, it fired up. Ran rough for about a minute, but then smoothed out and ran nicely. Still running today.

  7. Been driving a 4×4 ’83 silverado suburban for last 7 years; installed new trans, radiator, carburetor, fuel pump, tie rod, tires, power steering, brake lines, brake calipers, valve covers, and exhaust system, so far. Gets 9mpg hwy, less in town but it has real bumpers so when I hit things, like deer, all I have to do is hose it off.

  8. BH, true story.

    I had a brown, ’82 Chevy truck with a straight 6 up there in the tundra. It was rusty as fuck, holes in the floor boards and wheel wells gone, and the clutch was shot, but that didn’t matter because it would climb trees in neutral. I used it to haul crap in, not a daily driver.

    One day, the clutch went completely, and I parked it in the field. One winter Saturday, my buddies and I were shooting out back, and it suddenly dawned on me to see if I could kill the chevy. Started right up, and while it was running, I unloaded 6 357 magnums into it from my mighty Python. It kept running for a minute while it bled out (coolant), then died.

    Sat trhere all winter, covered in snow; next spring, I had to get rid of it because my neighbors were getting jealous of my junk display. Wrecking yard was about 3 miles, in St. Francis. For the fuck of it, I gave her a twirl…and she started. Filled the radiator and drove it to the junk yard.

    No one ever made a bad straight 6.

  9. No one ever made a bad straight 6

    It got better then. I had a C10 with a 250 S6 from the late 70s (kinda like this except in blue). Man, Iuv’d that truck. You could light strike-anywhere matches on the ceiling because it was just metal. And it has one of them triangular mirrors – a smoker’s friend. And AM only radio. And 3-on a tree trannie – it was unstealable – as if…

    That engine tho’. It was from the Monza so it was way under-powered but worse, the head of that engine tho’ was epically bad. Designed so badly that every single head in existence cracked. Every single one. If you called a junk yard looking for one they’d laugh – “if you find one, we’ll buy it from you!”. So GM redesigned the head and then it worked just fine.

    It did always start tho’.

  10. Another example of a Ford 300 six banger, is on an episode of Power Nation on the Motor Trend channel. They took one of these engines that was being used to power a trailer mounted generator, got it running and rebuilt it.

  11. Ha! I’ve got a wood splitter powered by a 4 cyl Volvo, BH. It came with the land. I spend as much time keeping it running as splitting wood. It almost never starts without some tinkering with the carb and a shot of ether.

    Maybe I should go find a Ford 300!

  12. My reference to a gas station wasn’t about gas mileage, but about the thought that gas stations will be outlawed in the future.

    As for old trucks, I have my father’s 98 Dodge Dakota (V6). It runs great and tracks straight on the highway. At best, it gets 17 mpg with a tailwind. Dodge did a lot of things right with those trucks, but the elephant ears sideview mirrors that actually block your peripheral vision was a problem, as were the cup holders that were more theoretical than functional. The biggest issue I’ve ever had with it, though, is that they thought a 12 gallon gas tank was sufficient. Taking that truck on the highway for a trip (such as hauling furniture to my daughter in Iowa) can be tense as I have to pay close attention to the gas gauge (which has its own quirks).

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