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May 21, 2012

Are Black Boxes Coming to All Cars in the U.S.?

The U.S. Senate has just passed a bill that will, if law, require that all new cars from the 2015 model year forward be fitted with black boxes. These boxes, also called event data recorders, will serve a similar purpose as they do in airplanes, let others know what went on with a crashed vehicle.

Thankfully for now, the bill as it is currently written, the data captured by the boxes will be controlled by the vehicle’s owner. The amendment to not grant owners of white vans this same privacy protection failed to make it out of committee. Unfortunately, this privacy is not absolute. Court orders could force owners to give up the information contained within their black boxes.

According to Car and Driver magazine, it is believed that the House of Representatives will pass this latest assault on our freedom. Also, the magazine reported that the Department of Transportation has already declared that black boxes shall record five seconds worth of pre-crash data, including information about speed, braking and airbag deployment.

Read more from Car Safety Technology

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