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This spans cars, SUVs, trucks and vans

It's official: all new light vehicles will be required to have backup cameras by May 2018.
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it has issued a proposed regulation Monday that will require all vehicles with a gross weight rating up to 10,000 pounds to have the backup cameras. This spans cars, SUVs, trucks and vans. 
The backup cameras are a result of feedback from consumer groups and families who have or have been affected by a vehicle backing over a child or loved one. Some parents have accidentally backed out of their garage, for example, and did not see their child playing behind the car before doing so. They have called for enhanced auto technology that can allow drivers a clearer view behind the vehicles. 
The backup cameras being pushed by the NHTSA will give drivers the ability to see a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. 
"We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back-over accidents—our children and seniors," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today's rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents."
NHTSA estimates that 58 to 69 deaths will be prevented annually once the entire road vehicle fleet has the rear-view systems -- which will likely be by about 2054.

The conversation about backup cameras has been ongoing since 2007 when Congress passed a law that ordered the Transportation Department to have a rule regarding backup cameras on light cars and trucks in place by 2011. The original goal was for all light vehicles to be equipped with them by the 2014 model year, but this has been delayed by many public comment periods and other delays.

The legislation would begin phasing backup cameras into 10 percent of vehicles after May 1, 2016 models, 40 percent a year later and 100 percent in May 2018.

In further efforts to prevent annual auto-related deaths, the NHTSA decided in February to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems in all new cars and trucks. The DOT and NHTSA have not yet set forth an exact date for when vehicles will be required to implement V2V technology.  

Source: NHTSA

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Normally I am against forced safety features
By atechfan on 3/31/2014 6:06:50 PM , Rating: 3
Airbags were a complex, expensive and sometimes dangerous feature of dubious benefit, especially if you are already wearing a seatbelt.

But in this case, since everyone insists of having stupid infotainment systems in their cars anyway, might as well do something useful with the screen. Adding a camera sensor adds little extra cost if the screen is already there.

RE: Normally I am against forced safety features
By Jeffk464 on 4/1/2014 11:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, I said the same thing and got marked down to a 1 and you got marked up to a three.

By atechfan on 4/1/2014 1:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
That is why I never pay attention to my rating.

By M'n'M on 4/1/2014 10:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
But in this case, since everyone insists of having stupid infotainment systems in their cars anyway, might as well do something useful with the screen. Adding a camera sensor adds little extra cost if the screen is already there.

Yes and no. Yes it cost's less than it would if there weren't some dorky infotainment system. But no you're forgetting what adding this system implies in spare parts (mandated by the Govt), inventory and supply chain management. The automakers, having decided on a camera, can't just depend on the whims of the camera maker to continue making that camera for as long as the car company want's it. Especially if (as would be most likely) that camera part is shared with some other device (a smartphone) to reduce costs. Think what happens when, to be competitive, the smartphone market moves to a newer, "better" camera. One that isn't compatible with the car system. It's the same problem that defense contractors have trying to use COTS parts. It isn't the $$ saver it's thought to be.

And has been mentioned elsewhere, a camera that has to last XX years in a bumper in a car environment is a different beast than one that lasts 2 years in a smartphone.

Lastly think of the legalities this system opens up for sue-happen America. The car companies will be sued when someone, despite a working camera, backs over their kid. How much of that cost must be factored into every system ? Let alone when one fails and the kid is run over. It's the hidden costs that people who don't manufacture things themselves don't know about.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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