'Black Boxes' Are About To Become Mandatory On All New Cars

Business Insider

With approval from the White House, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) is expected to make data recorders, often referred to as "black boxes," mandatory on all cars and trucks.

The proposed rule, which is expected to be formally instated soon, according to the Detroit News, would require automakers to install event data recorders (EDRs) on all vehicles. It is not a huge leap: Currently, 91.6 percent of cars and trucks are equipped with EDRs.

The advantage of having such a "black box," which records pre- and post-crash data, is that the improved knowledge of the causes and results of accidents could lead to safer car designs.

The potential rule has been protested by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Detroit News reported, which says the automakers it represents (including the Detroit Big Three, Toyota, and VW) are concerned about the privacy of their customers.

Neither that nor the $24.4 million it would take to install the devices in 15.5 million cars (the number of light vehicles expected to be sold annually) seem likely to prevent the NHSTA from moving ahead.



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