Autonomous cars are hitting highways across the United States, and automotive black boxes, or event data recorders, are getting more advanced than ever.
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At present, over 90 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States today are equipped with event data recorders, more commonly known as black boxes. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gets its way, that already high figure will swell to a full 100 percent in short order.
According to The Detroit News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is set to move forward with new rules governing the standardization of data recorders on new cars. The rules will take effect on September 1 of this year.
It's been working its way through Congress for years, but according to Car and Driver, an event recorder mandate could soon become law. The Senate has already voted to adopt a transportation bill that would make the so-called "black boxes" mandatory by the 2015 model year. According to the report, the House of Representatives is also expected to pass a similar statute.
Are 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.
Long before shows like CSI misled the public about how long a DNA test takes and introduced the mythical world of "zoom and enhance," airplane black boxes were making people think you could minutely recreate an air disaster if you could just get the box. Not so. Turns out that quite a few cars sold in the U.S. have black boxes as well, with the same limitations: you can retrieve a certain set of data from them, but its quality and usefulness varies.
As of today, when incidents like sudden acceleration happen, it's extremely difficult to diagnose conclusively what the cause was. Without a mechanism to track exactly what the driver did, what the vehicle sensors detected and how the vehicle responded, it usually ends up being a he said/she said situation.
Though you may not realize it, your car is probably equipped with an automotive 'black box'. Also known as Event Data Recorders, these devices record information from a vehicle's various sensors during a crash – everything from airbag performance to the angle of the steering wheel to the speed of the vehicle is retained. Though an estimated 90 percent of new vehicles are shipped with the devices, each manufacturer uses their own hardware, software and file formats.