Starlink antenna on the car leads to the parking ticket


Adventurous Starlink construction. (Photo by California Highway Patrol Officer T. Caton)

It’s a bizarre picture and somehow reminiscent of the Ghostbusters ghost hunter car. Reason enough for a California Highway Patrol officer to use the satellite dish to pull the car out of circulation.

In Germany this traffic offense is called “dangerous interference with road traffic”. A California Highway Patrol officer noticed a vehicle last Friday that looked a little bit different from the other cars. A satellite dish was attached to the hood of the vehicle. Officer Caton decided to put the driver on the hard shoulder.

How CNBC reports, the Antelope Valley officer explained to the driver that he had stopped him on his hood because of the possible obstruction and that this construction would block his view of the road while driving. The dry answer of the person concerned: “Only if I turn right.”

The antenna on the hood is a StarlinkAntenna from Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX. The driver told highway police that he was using the antenna to have WiFi in his Toyota Prius because he was working from the car.



It still takes a little patience

SpaceX first rolled out the service in October 2020 with a beta program for select consumers and for one monthly price of $ 99 a. The “Starlink kit” sent out comprises four essential parts. On the one hand, the end device, i.e. the antenna, and a tripod holder as well as a WLAN router and a power supply unit. The company applied for regulatory approval last year, the System also for airplanes and other large moving vehicles such as ships or trucks. Here, however, it can be assumed that the satellite dish will look different than the one intended for the roof of a house.

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The driver of the stopped car couldn’t wait until Starlink antennas were also available for vehicles and took the installation into his own hands. SpaceX also offers mounting options on the roof for a surcharge – but only for houses and not for cars. Too bad.

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