White House Completes Review for Black Boxes in Automobiles
December 7, 2012 12:29 PM
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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.
The Detroit News
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RE: Wonder what else...
12/7/2012 4:46:35 PM
I would argue that the US is one of the least "free" countries in the Western World. Somewhere along the way we went from being a free country to having laws and rules for every possible thing you can think of. In LA their is a law against throwing a football on the beach, get that.
RE: Wonder what else...
12/9/2012 12:16:31 AM
Well, the UK may be tied with us..
RE: Wonder what else...
12/10/2012 10:19:10 AM
The black box is not inherently bad. It can provide great detail in the events surrounding an accident, disprove lies told by the participants in a case, help improve auto safety design from the collected data, etc.
It's the rules and laws surrounding its use that I fear. It needs to be subject to standard private property search and seizure rules and laws. The police should not be able to get its data without a warrant. Insurance companies are on a need to know basis and only if it impacts certain things they are concerned with. The only actionable data should be the immediate data directly relating to the incident at hand, etc.
For example, if I'm in an car crash the police that kills someone the police should be able to collect data for criminal prosecution purposes. During their collection, however, they should not be allowed to ticket me for speeding violations it recorded over the past week (assuming it even stores that much data).
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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