Now motorists will know if their car is equipped with an Event Data Recorder that some OEMs have been installing to record crash data.
Now motorists will know if their car is equipped with a black box, the name given to Event Data Recorders (EDRs) that some OEMs have been installing to record data in the seconds leading up to and during a crash.
A new ruling (go to Latest News) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires carmakers to notify an owner if their car is so equipped, beginning with 2011 models. The agency estimates that for 2005 model year vehicles, about 64% were outfit with the devices, which capture data only if the airbags deploy. Under the regulation, OEMs are not required to install the EDRs. The mandate will also standardize data collected and strengthen the devices to better survive impacts to aid in developing future safety systems.
The agency didn't address non-technical, potential civil-liberty issues, howeversuch as privacy concerns as to who could have access to EDR data (with or without legal rulings) and whether drivers could be allowed to turn them off.
Go to the discussion on our Forums page and let us know what you think about the privacy concerns versus safety improvement aspects of EDRs.