U.S. Safety Laws Could Make $5k Black Boxes Compulsory On All New Cars!
The United States Congress wants to make Event Data Recorders compulsory on all new cars, and also upgrade them. This would reflect in price of $4,000 to $5,000 for each of the “black boxes”, as usual people are used to call them
An event data recorder or EDR is a device installed in some automobiles to record information related to vehicle crashes or accident, and they can either record non-stop and delete after a period of time (read below) or be triggered by electronically-sensed problems in the engine (often called faults), or a sudden change in wheel speed. The term generally refers to a simple, tamper-proof, read-write memory device, similar to the “black box” found on airplanes (as opposed to the tape recorders and video cameras common in police vehicles and many commercial trucks).
Current Event Data Recorders used on some cars can record information for up to 5 seconds before a crash, but new laws by the Congress aim to make the recording time longer, much longer: 75 seconds or even two minutes! This is no special black box used for the President’s limo, it’s just a simple EDR attached to personal vehicles.
According to Automotive News, if legislators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have their way, the new automotive black boxes will need to be both fire resistant and waterproof. This is part of the price increase, which is a major downturn for the whole personal car industry. Another great disadvantage is the size that such new black boxes would have, reports estimate the size of a shoebox. That would represent with no doubt a concert for carmakers, as design is already pushing all possible limits to lighter more compact cars, and they no need to place these chunkier devices in a safe place and not just anywhere.
Who is going to support these costs, that can represent more than 50% from the price of an entry-level modern car? Theoretically carmakers, but prices of the cars will surely reflect these amounts in a high proportion. Thus, the consumer is the factor most affected by these possible laws. The $5k black box law would start affecting prices for 2015 models forward, if it passes.