BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SB 206 (Gaines) - Vehicle information systems
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          |Version: May 6, 2015            |Policy Vote: E.Q. 6 - 1, JUD. 6 |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: May 11, 2015      |Consultant: Marie Liu           |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 

          Summary:  SB 206 would prohibit the California Air Resources  
          Board (ARB) from obtaining locational data from a vehicle  
          information system.

           One-time costs of at least $200,000 with ongoing costs less  
            than $150,000 annually from various special funds* to the ARB  
            reconfigure or replace devices and vehicles that currently can  
            obtain locational data. 
           Unknown one-time costs, likely in the hundreds of thousands of  
            dollars, to various special funds* to alter existing testing,  
            research, modeling, and regulatory programs to find substitute  
            data or other workarounds for the loss of locational data. 

          * Motor Vehicle Account, Air Pollution Control Fund, Vehicle  
          Inspection and Repair Fund, and the Cost of Implementation Fund


          SB 206 (Gaines)                                        Page 1 of  

          Background:  On-board diagnostic (OBD) systems are computer-based systems  
          built into the hardware and software of a vehicle's on-board  
          computer of all 1996 and later light-duty vehicles and trucks,  
          as required by the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
          OBD II, California's second generation of OBD requirements, is a  
          diagnostic system incorporated into the vehicle's powertrain  
          computer. The purpose of the OBD II systems is to detect high  
          emission levels caused by emission-related malfunctions, reduce  
          the time between the occurrence of a malfunction and its  
          detection and repair, and also to assist in the diagnosis and  
          repair of the malfunction. OBD II systems activate their  
          monitoring strategies during normal on-road vehicle driving. If  
          a problem is detected, the OBD II system illuminates a warning  
          lamp on the vehicle instrument panel to alert the driver, and  
          stores data related to the detected malfunction in the on-board  
          computer so that it will be available to the technician for  
          downloading when the vehicle is serviced.  

          Proposed Law:  
            This bill prohibits ARB from obtaining locational data from a  
          vehicle information system except if that data is being used to  
          assist a vehicle owner in a defense against an enforcement  
          action brought by the ARB. 
          "Vehicle information system" is defined as a device integrated  
          into the vehicle that collects data that can by itself, or with  
          other information, be used to individually identify the  
          registered owner of the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle, or  
          the operation, use, or condition of the vehicle.

          Legislation:  AB 886 (Chau, 2015) would prohibit a  
          transportation network provider, as defined, from requesting or  
          requiring personally identifiable data, including locational  
          data, of a passenger except for certain purposes. This bill is  
          currently in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee.
          SB 994 (Monning, 2014) would have restricted the use of vehicle  


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          data without the consent of a vehicle's owner by both the public  
          and private sector. This bill failed in the Senate  
          Transportation and Housing Committee.

          AB 213 (Leslie) Chapter 427, Statutes of 2003 required that if a  
          motor vehicle is equipped with one or more data recording  
          devices for the purpose of retrieving data after an accident,  
          then the vehicle manufacturer must disclose this fact in the  
          owner's manual of the vehicle.

          Comments:  According to the ARB website, there are no plans to  
          create a new OBD program that would utilize remote transponders  
          to send information to the ARB indicating whether the vehicle's  
          emissions are in compliance. That said, according to the ARB, it  
          currently collects locational data for various testing,  
          research, modeling, and regulatory purposes. For example,  
          locational data enables ARB to study how emissions correlate to  
          geographical conditions and to inform the creation of  
          site-specific emissions inventories. Much of this information is  
          collected voluntarily, like under the ARB's Truck and Bus  
          regulations, where the regulated party can voluntarily provide  
          electronic tracking in place of a log-book recording to annually  
          show compliance. This bill would prohibit ARB from collecting  
          all locational data, except in defense of the vehicle owner in  
          an enforcement action brought by ARB, even if the information is  
          voluntarily offered. This bill would impose unknown, but likely  
          one-time costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, to find  
          alternatives to locational data in ARB's various testing,  
          research, modeling, and regulatory purposes. 
          Locational data is collected electronically from the vehicle  
          information system with off-board data loggers or scan tools.  
          Under this bill, ARB would be required to review the various  
          devices and vehicles used by the ARB that might be able to  
          obtain locational data from the vehicle information system.  
          There would be substantial upfront work initially to review and  
          reconfigure or replace all affected equipment. These review  
          costs are uncertain but are likely to be at least $200,000  
          spread across various special funds. There would also be some  
          ongoing costs to review new equipment that are likely to be  


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          substantially less than the initial efforts, likely less than  
          $150,000 per year.

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