Report: NHTSA to implement new standard by Sept. 1, requires new cars to have “black box” Event Data Recorders

2012 Chevrolet Volt Crash Test

TheDetroitNews reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is on time for mandating a new requirement for vehicles. As of September 1, 2012, the NHTSA is requiring manufacturers to build automotive “black boxes” in cars.

In lieu of this process, a petition was filed by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers—mainly composed of General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corp., Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG, and seven other major automakers—to delay the new rule until September of 2013. The NHTSA however has denied the petition.

If the term black box sounds familiar, some of you may have heard of their more technical term: Event Data Recorders, which have been commonly found on commercial aircraft for decades. In the context of automobiles, EDR “black boxes” record data about the few seconds leading up to a collision. The data could be then used to help investigators determine the cause.

“NHTSA remains committed to proposing a standard in the coming months that will help save lives by ensuring both automakers and the agency have the necessary data to make continued improvements in vehicle safety,” said the NHTSA in a statement. “Rulemaking to mandate EDRs across the entire light-vehicle fleet could contribute to advancements in vehicle designs, and advanced restraint and other safety countermeasures.”

Though the concept of EDR’s has been very controversial as many have argued that it impedes on one’s privacy, which is protected by the means of the US Constitution. To add, some have even argued that it could give insurance companies an unfair advantage from invading drivers’ privacy, in a society where automobile insurance is expensive and vastly required to be legally road worthy.

Either way, if you are in the market for a new car in the near future, chances are that it will have an EDR black-box. Let us know if you think it’s fair or unfair for the NHTSA to require EDR black-boxes in the comments section below.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: TheDetroitNews