Someone had the brilliant idea of putting a Starlink satellite dish on the hood of their car, and now they’re paying the price.
A California Highway Patrol officer fined a motorist driving a Toyota Prius that had what appears to be on Friday a Starlink antenna attached to its hood, according to a Facebook post of the agency.
“Sir, I arrested you today for that visual obstruction on your hood. Doesn’t it block your view while you are driving? Said the officer, quoted on the CHP Antelope Valley Facebook page. At that point, the driver assured them, “Only when I turn right. “
The driver, who was ticketed for a moving violation, told the officer he was using the antenna to get wifi for a business he was running out of the car, a CHP representative said. CNBC.
“Yes, it is actually illegal to mount a satellite dish on the hood of your vehicle, obstructing your view under Section 26708 (a) (2) of the California Vehicle Code,” CHP Antelope Valley said on Facebook. “You also cannot hang things from your rearview mirror, mount a GPS or cell phone in an unapproved location on your windshield, or display a handicap sign while the vehicle is in motion under this section. It’s a matter of security.
Starlink is SpaceX’s rapidly growing broadband internet service that is powered by more than 1 500 satellites orbiting the Earth. Since the launch of its open beta in February, the network exceeded 69000 active users in 12 countries, and the company aims to reach around 500,000 users by the same period next year, according to PDG Elon Musk.
Although unconfirmed, the driver may have had this wacky idea from Musk himself. As the edge notes, Musk once said on a 2020 earnings call that Starlink terminals are so small – the size of a pizza – that he assumed “technically you could buy one and just stick it on the car “.
Of course, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. He then backtracked on Twitter, noting that the terminals were not designed to be installed on cars, but rather intended for larger vehicles such as airplanes, ships, trucks and motorhomes to connect to the company’s satellite network . To this end, SpaceX has would have sought permission from the Federal Communications Commission to connect its terminals to moving vehicles.
In the meantime, if you really need wifi on the go, maybe try exploring less illegal options, like investing in a mobile hotspot or tether your phone rather.