Using the escape pod instantly cleans your criminal record, so that's one potential use for the player.
Oh, and maybe we should add a permadeath mode...
I think a permadeath mode will conflict with the game concept itself. A permadeath means no saves allowed, but one can`t play an open-world game with just one sit. Only if you could host a cloud savegames (then death means your savegame will be deleted from the server). Also you could use the Encrypted savefile + internal game timer pair.
1. When the player quits the game while docked, it saves his last state automatically, you cant save manually at all.
2. When the player isnt docked, that internal timer are increasing constantly. Let`s call it the "Actually played" timer. And the game is saving that value somewhere where the player cant reach to copy it for the further use (and cheating).
3. When loading, the game decrypts the savegame and compares the timer`s value stored inside the savefile with the value of the "actually played" stored somewhere else outa player`s reach (i dunno). If it differs, game over then. So one could not just to close the game`s window, when something goes wrong implying he werent flying that last time.
(sorry guys, English isn`t my native, i hope you could understand my idea for than cheat-proof mechanics)
Oh and here is the easiest permadeath mode realisation of all: just completely disable the saving ability. And when the player wants to sleep, he should just pause the game, minimise the game window, then either suspend his pc to ram or disk (even the stationary pc`s could do it nowadays). Of course that should be put in the game manual.