NHTSA mandates rearview camera technology

  • 01-Apr-2014 11:04 EDT

The Odyssey is among the Honda models already incorporating  backup cameras.

All new vehicles under 10,000 lb will be required to have rearview camera technology under a final rule issued March 28 by NHTSA (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). The rule applies to vehicles ranging from passenger cars to trucks and buses (any vehicle under 10,000 lb) built on or after May 1, 2018. The field of view must include a 10- x 20-ft zone "directly behind the vehicle." The rear-visibility system (basically a backup camera and ancillary equipment) must meet additional requirements involving image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation. According to the agency, about 210 people die in any given year because of back-over incidents involving vehicles less than 10,000 lb (267 including vehicles over 10,000 lb). NHTSA estimates that 58 to 69 lives per year will be saved with fleet-wide (all vehicles under 10,000) implementation of rear-visibility technology as required in the new rule; the agency notes that it expects as much as 73% of new vehicles sold by 2018 will have systems that meet the new requirements without yet being required to do so. The cost to install systems is estimated by NHTSA at about $40 for each vehicle already equipped with a suitable visual display, and about $140 for all others. The net cost per life saved is estimated at between $15.9 million and $26.3 million. The new rule will be implemented on a phased schedule, with 40% of all vehicles built after May 1, 2017, required to comply. The new rule was mandated by an act of Congress and is incorporated into Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 111. Last year, the agency added rear-visibility technology as a factor in its New Car Assessment Program.

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