‘Black box’ devices could be fitted to all new cars

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All new cars sold in the EU could soon be fitted with ‘black box’ devices.

The European Council is proposing that every new car has the data-logging device, which would record the vehicle’s speed, state of safety assistance features and “crash-related parameters and information before, during and after a collision”.

Information recorded by these devices would be shareable among authorities but only to analyse accident data.

If it’s approved, all new cars would also be fitted with ‘intelligent speed assistance’ features to help the driver maintain an “appropriate” speed depending on the road. Although they wouldn’t be able to switch it off or suppress it, a driver could override it using the throttle pedal.

Other technologies that would be mandatory include autonomous emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring and reversing sensors. The proposal highlights them as systems based on those that will be used in connected and autonomous vehicles as well.

A vote by the European Parliament is tentatively scheduled for February 2019. Should it go through, it will apply to all cars sold within the European Union.

While the UK’s exit from the EU next March may have an impact on member states’ ability to access the recorded information, it has been previously indicated that cars sold here will still conform to EU regulations.

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