All passenger vehicles to be equipped with black boxes under NHTSA rule

  • 10-Dec-2012 09:12 EST

Although about 96% of today's passenger vehicles already are equipped with black boxes (formally called event data recorders, or EDRs), NHTSA (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is proposing to require their fitment to all new light passenger vehicles of less than 8500 lb. The rule would take effect Sept. 1, 2014. Information collected would pertain to vehicle speed, braking, crash force, engine throttle, airbag deployment, and seatbelt usage. The proposal includes the same standardized data-collection requirements established by NHTSA in 2006 for EDRs that are voluntarily installed by automakers and mandates that automakers provide a commercially available tool for copying the data. In keeping with NHTSA's current policies on EDR data, the EDR data would be treated by NHTSA as the property of the vehicle owner and would not be used or accessed by the agency without owner consent. The agency expects the rule, if adopted, to cost automakers $20 per vehicle. It will accept public feedback on its proposal for the next two months at http://www.regulations.gov.

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