electronic data recorderAre you ready for a black box to be installed in your car? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration apparently is. According to a new report from Wired, NHTSA is expected to rule next month that all new cars will need to carry just such a device.

Now, before you get all "Screw the Gubment!" in the comments, you should know that many modern cars already have black box systems installed – you might have one and not even know it. General Motors, for instance, has been installed the electronic data recorders since the 1990s, on almost all vehicles fitted with airbags.

The concern for most drivers, however, lies with what type of information is captured, and who has access to it. Also, different automakers use different Electronic Data Recorder devices. A black box standard needs to be developed, which would allow for the data retrieved from an EDR to be consistent regardless of the vehicle make it's pulled from.

Some view this mandate as an invasion of motorists' privacy. However, the data recovered from the black box systems can provide crucial insight into crash dynamics. Exactly who's allowed to view that information varies by state, of course, and only 13 states currently have legislation in place regulating the release of EDR data.

What do you think, is this a good idea, or a bad one? Have your say in Comments.