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The NHTSA is now preparing to finalize the regulation

The White House has finished its review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) proposal to mandate event data recorders (EDR) in all new vehicles.

Now that the White House Office of Management Budget has completed the review, the NHTSA is preparing to finalize the regulation. The proposal suggests increasing the number of new vehicles with EDRs from 91.6 percent today to 100 percent of light-duty cars and trucks.

Event data recorders, also known as "black boxes," collect driver data such as speed, use of a seatbelt, whether brakes were applied, etc. before and after a vehicle crash. The idea behind them is to deploy better safety measures for vehicles as well as better overall vehicle design.

The NHTSA originally said it'd create a proposal for the White House concerning EDR regulation by the end of 2011. After doing so, the White House Office of Management Budget delayed comment or review for a year.

Back in August of this year, the NHTSA rejected the White House's request for further delay of the black box standards.

Some automakers already place EDRs in all of their vehicles, such as Ford, General Motors Mazda and Toyota.

The road to EDR regulation hasn't been all smooth, though. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes Toyota, Volkswagen AG and Detroit's Big Three, had issues with both driver privacy and the cost of these black boxes.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers complained in May 2010 that the black boxes suggested by the government were too expensive to deploy in all vehicles. Further, it stated that EDRs could potentially be abused by the government.

"Event data recorders help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world but looking forward, we need to make sure we preserve privacy," said Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist. "Automakers do not access EDR data without consumer permission, and any government requirements to install EDRs on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy."

In April of this year, the U.S. Senate passed a highway bill called the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act", also known as MAP21. The bill aimed to require all new 2015 model year vehicles to have black boxes for record vehicle data.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Not for me
By polishvendetta on 12/7/2012 3:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
i dont really understand what kind of data these things would be collecting that would need to be private. unless this thing is tracking your movement and has an onboard voice and video recorder in the cabin of the car then who cares?

the black box should if it is recording position only have the last 5-10 mins worth of data anyways.

RE: Not for me
By Noonecares on 12/7/2012 6:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that little hidden program on peoples smartphones that was collecting "useless" data... Then they would say oops, my bad. At least they got the data they wanted before being caught.

RE: Not for me
By TheDoc9 on 12/7/2012 10:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, my guess is they also record your gps data. Definitely a privacy concern.

RE: Not for me
By RufusM on 12/10/2012 10:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
This is part of the problem. We don't know what it's collecting, how long it's storing it, etc. There needs to be clarity of what's happening so there can be policy changes if they are found to be acting out of line with what is expected.

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