The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could finally be ready to implement a law first expected back in 2008. Automotive News is reporting that while many of us were opening presents and eating Christmas dinner, NHTSA was busy submitting a revised version of its plan that would mandate that all new cars be fitted with a backup camera. The goal? To reduce the number of people – especially children – who are backed over each year.

Originally, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act required all new cars to come with a backup camera by 2014, but delay after delay after delay has now pushed this date back to 2015. It's not clear what percentage of vehicles currently come standard with the cameras, but the article does point out that all of Honda's lineup will comply with the original regulation once the 2015 Fit goes on sale.

Previous estimates indicate that adding backup cameras to new cars costs between $58 and $203 per vehicle, but the upside is that doing so is estimated save about 100 lives per year. Other estimates put the total cost to automakers for enacting the law at between $700 million and $1.6 billion, a tab that critics say will be passed directly to consumers. As NHTSA reportedly employs a statistical cost of $6.1 million as the value of a human life, under a best-case scenario, the law is expected to cost between $11.8 million and $19.7 million per life saved.




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  • 145 Comments
      foxtrot685
      • 11 Months Ago
      It looks like automakers are already gearing up for the change. Many new vehicles are starting to use LCD screens for radio interfaces and many of those screens have inputs on the back of them for other video sources. I'm smart enough to know that the price of a new car is not going to jump $3000 just because that's how much the entertainment package costs to get the rear backup camera as an option, but I'm interested to see what low cost solution automakers come up with. Btw everyone I know that has a backup cam, many of them didn't even want this feature but it was bundled in an option package or trim level, loves having the feature.
        Amber Jean
        • 11 Months Ago
        @foxtrot685
        Everyone I know who has one says "I'm not sure how I ever lived without it." The cost of putting these on all vehicles is not as high as these estimates are saying for many reasons, one of which would be that over half of all new vehicles already come with a backup camera. Information from consumers says that they do want this feature.
        jtav2002
        • 11 Months Ago
        @foxtrot685
        You don't even need a screen in the radio. Many vehicles just incorporate it into the rearview mirror. That's how both of my trucks have been that have them.
      Koenigsegg
      • 11 Months Ago
      dont need a backup camera in a smart
        clquake
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        But the downside is you're driving a Smart.
      Cruising
      • 11 Months Ago
      Better drivers education can only go so far, driving is a discipline and like other disciplines you either have it or not. I've posted about this before. You can educate all you want but lack of discipline, short attention spans, and lack of focus on details is the main issues. Driving a car is not a difficult task, what's happening is people doing stupid things behind the wheel that account for many accidents. You can teach someone to drive but in practice it's up to them and for many unfortunately they don't take it serious enough. Back up cameras, TPMS etc...are useful tools but in the end it's the consumers responsibility to have enough discipline to operate the vehicle.
        jtav2002
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Cruising
        And in a perfect world everyone is a perfect driver and never have crashes in which case you would need no seatbelts, no airbags, no safety equipment. Anything. But it's not.
      Amber Jean
      • 11 Months Ago
      If “ThePlanner rwcmick” is really interested in the “FACTS,” please note the updates below. The FACTS are as follows; 1. On average there are are 110 people killed every year by back-over accidents. NHTSA estimate of 292 total annual backover fatalities. (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811144.PDF) Almost 3 times more than “ThePlanner rwcmick” declared as a “fact.” 2. The average cost (not price) to implement the rule will be just over $100 as stated. The actual price of course will be higher as manufacturers will add margin. If a vehicle is already equipped with a monitor, the cost to add a rearview camera is approximately $30 and will continue to decrease based on increased volume. NHTSA said that “adding a backup camera to a vehicle would cost $58 to $203;” so how does “ThePlanner rwcmick” decide the cost is $100 as a “FACT?” 3. On average industry volume has been and will be around 15M units/year. That “industry volume” number of 15M units/year is correct; but, if a vehicle is already equipped with a rearview camera system; it should not be calculated (double counted) as part of the cost to equip 15M units. (e.g., 95%+ of all Honda vehicles, plus many other vehicles that have a rearview camera system as standard equipment) PLUS As stated above, “If a vehicle is already equipped with a monitor, the cost to add a rearview camera is approximately $30 and will continue to decrease based on increased volume.” Using the cost of adding an entire rearview system to ANY vehicle that already as a monitor installed, would be an exaggeration of the benefit/cost calculation. 4. The actual take rate for back up cameras is 22% not 53%. Not sure where that “fact” came from. It is almost impossible to capture how many consumers are adding a rearview camera system to their vehicle as an after-market’ add-on purchase.
      DON
      • 11 Months Ago
      Government is too big. Smaller government is better.
      Black Dyanmite
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Feds shouldn't be mandating %$#@! I'm tired of having to pay for the lowest common denominator in society, or just pay more for new cars because the government is run by automakers and other corporations. If the government is making you do it, that's reason enough to reject the idea. They have zero credibility, and they do everything to take money from the middle class (fortunately, I'm independently wealthy) Stop being sheep, people! BD
      Chadley
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is funny... If you're laying behind a car like this, don't you deserve to get run over? ... and also, what ever happened to 'checking your rear view' before you backup? Why make things more complicated, and cars more expensive by mandating a redundant piece of technology that encourages the driver to not check their mirrors? (and don't bring up the children's safety issue; you're a parent, you should KNOW if your kid is behind the car) Sooooooooo.... a $10 rear view mirror or a mandated $400+ rear camera system system that requires a $1000+ infotainment/display unit. Stop being so ******* lazy America!!!!!!!!
        HydraulicDragon
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Chadley
        A small camera costs less than $50. Otherwise your cellphone would cost $1200. Most new cars are sold with a small display of some type, and the screen costs less than $100. My 22' computer monitor cost about $200. So if you're paying $1400 for a backup camera, you're an idiot. The total parts cost plus programming should add no more than $200 to the price of a new car, and that's probably a gross overestimation. For example, the entire Xbox One, including the 3D matrix sensing Kinect sensor cost less than $500 to produce.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Chadley
        Checking your rearview is rather useless in a tall SUV. You can't see a kid. On some SUVs you can't hardly see a grown-up behind your car. Also- a typical cheapo webcam is probably less than $10 in parts. And 99% of new cars already come with a display unit anyways.
          rcavaretti
          • 11 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Common sense can't prevent all accidents.
          lasertekk
          • 11 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Correct, the height overhang causes an artificial blindspot horizon.
          carjunky425
          • 11 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          $10 lol cant fix stupid. When i was in driving school we were taught to walk around our cars before we started driving. Where did the commonsense go? STOP BEING LAZY
          b.rn
          • 11 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          " On some SUVs you can't hardly see a grown-up behind your car." It's a bad design then. On my SUV, you can see immediately behind the vehicle. Good rearward visibility, like on my SUV, beats a camera any day.
        john96xlt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Chadley
        "a mandated $400+ rear camera system system that requires a $1000+ infotainment/display unit. " Stupid. The do not "require" an infotainment/display unit, the screen can be located in the rearview mirror.
      Master Austin
      • 11 Months Ago
      I think we should start mandating parents passing common sense tests before being able to breed lol Why are people letting their kids play in the driveway, I would figure they would have a backyard, or is that so full of junk they simply cant? Sad is things like this happen when the innocent get hurt, and instead of faulting the parents for irresponsibility, they try to pass the issue to the corporations with the big pockets.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Master Austin
        I never let me kids play in the driveway, but they still have to cross multiple driveways on their bike ride to school. They still have to walk across the shopping mall parking lot.
      redgpgtp97
      • 11 Months Ago
      They've been building cars for over a century and now we all need back up cameras, tire pressure monitors, etc., etc. This may be needed for people who are attention deficient and are apt to get in, start the car, put it in reverse, and press the gas before looking to see if anyone is behind them.. Just as bad as those who leave their children in the back seat and say they forgot they were there. People must pay more attention.
      Steve K
      • 11 Months Ago
      100 lives a year?? There are so many small segments of danger that kill 100 people a year only the most naive nanny state child could believe the gov should intervene in each and every one and that's before even considering the massive cost. Nope, this is just incompetent gov at its best spending millions per person on what amounts to getting struck by lightning and keeping themselves and their cronies in a job. To the half of you that think this is good idea, move out of your parents' basements and start paying for things and trying to keep your family's head above water first and then see how much you love the gov. Idiots.
      Hazdaz
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is a non-issue. Just like how you can't buy a new car today in the US without power windows and locks, and every car has ABS and airbags, rear view cameras will also become a standard item. And just like with ABS and airbags, the prices for rear view cameras are going to drop like a stone. There are really only 2 or 3 major components to a rear view camera. Most new cars - even the cheapest ones - already have one of those components (LCD screen) and its used for radio or infotaiment duties. The other main component is, of course, a camera. Technology for a rear-view camera is not unlike ones used in webcams, smartphones and regular digital camera. Those already cost almost nothing - maybe $10 depending upon the type of camera module. All-in-all, this shouldn't even add $50 to the price of a new car as long as the car is designed with it in mind, so trying to stubbornly cling to old-fashion ideas is utterly pointless.
        b.rn
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Hazdaz
        A $10 camera won't deal with the conditions a car needs to put up with. It certainly won't last the life of the car. I don't want them to put junk equipment on the vehicle. "trying to stubbornly cling to old-fashion ideas is utterly pointless." Sometimes old fashioned concepts, such as reward visibility, aren't so pointless? I've a 2013 sedan that I can't see rearward in. I've a 1998 SUV that I can see just a few feet behind in. I'd much rather have the visibility of my 1998 than the techno solution for my 2013 (love the car otherwise).
          icemilkcoffee
          • 11 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          "I don't want them to put junk equipment on the vehicle" Hahahaha- do you think they put anything other than lowest-bidder-junk on your typical car?
        carjunky425
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Hazdaz
        The difference is these things came to be standard because of manufacturers being aggressive and producing things that people wanted. You are talking about the government making manufacturers do upgrades. I understand that we have mandates for ABS and Seat belts now but ABS wasnt required until last year and most cars had it. That is a free market and that is how things grow. There is no reason that the GOV mandates back-up cams. That is just promoting laziness.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's a pretty trivial component in any event. It's not anywhere as disruptive as say, airbags... and guess what- we all got used to having airbags in our cars.
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