U.S. Regulators Propose Black Boxes for All Cars

Planes are outfitted with special recording devices that help investigators figure out what went wrong in case of an accident. These 'black boxes' are recording devices that record audio from the cockpit as well instrument readings from the plane's controls and sensors. If U.S. regulators get their way, these devices may soon be in modern cars, too.

Wired reports that federal regulators are proposing that new cars sold after September 2014 be fitted with event data recorders that would record speed, number of passengers, seat belt usage, throttle, location, and more. These devices aren't designed to record the goings on inside your car at all times. Instead, they'll kick in for about half a minute if the car detects behaviors conducive to a road accident (such as sudden breaking, swerving or acceleration).

According to Wired, the National Transportation Safety Agency is looking for feedback for mandating that all auto manufacturers install these devices in cars. However, there are also concerns regarding drivers' privacy. The NTSA has yet to fill in the blanks on some very important details. This includes who has access to the recording data and how long the data will be kept for. 

The NTSA is accepting comments on the proposal through to February 11. Read all about it and leave your feedback here.

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  • infernocy
    i am for this but i think the auto driver is better cos in a slight moment of lose control the car can stop it self ....
  • memadmax
    Why is this news?
    They already do it, now this is a "mandate" to the manufacturers for something they already do....
    If you are concerned about it, and want to remove it, and gain control over the engine/transmission so that you can fine tune it, there are aftermarket systems such as MegaSquirt, that do a real good job, and are surprisingly, OpenSource... =D
  • kellybean
    This is more about getting a gps device and who knows what other stuff in cars and less about safety. Big Brother at it again. Never trust your government, it is full of liars.
  • blurr91
    Cars already have this type of device. All modern cars have a recorder that continuously record the last 30 second (or so) of driving condition like speed, throttle, acceleration...etc. It just doesn't record the number of passengers and seatbelt usage (as far as I know).

    More government intrusion into our daily lives. It's all about control.
  • robochump
    Hmmmmm...I wonder if insurance companies are behind this and already finding ways to void your warranty from the type of info recorded. lol
  • Most likely they're trying to know how far we drive so we can be taxed by the mile in addition to being taxed at the pump.
  • g00fysmiley
    more and mroe reason to drive a motorcycle faster, better gas mileage and none of this crap... also while i would love to drive a mroe efficient car, but stuff liek this makes me lean towards carburated , it will leave more money for fun things liek computer parts and phones that while they can be used to track me at least can be left at home
  • velocityg4
    Makes me glad I drive old cars. It's bad enough there are cameras all over the place. Now they need to put monitoring equipment in our cars. Why don't they just shove a leash up our arses and get it over with?
  • MasterMace
    Warrantless search and seizure.
  • elbert
    Wow and next the boxes have wifi and our cars snitch on use. LOL my car reports I have broken the speed limit, not wearing a seat belt, late getting in my insurance, and didnt come to a complete stop at the stop sign. Sounds like they want more ticket revenue and cheaper means to collect the data.