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NHTSA adds rearview video systems to list of recommended safety technologies to encourage broader use

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will add rearview video systems to its list of recommended features under its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NHTSA made the addition to the list of Recommended Advanced Technology Features to encourage improved rearview visibility for the nation’s motor vehicle fleet and to help prevent backover accidents while NHTSA researches implementation of a rear visibility rule in the form of an amendment to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) Nº 111 (rearview mirrors).

NHTSA will be including rearview video systems into the NCAP program in two phases. First, starting immediately, the agency will begin to identify on www.safercar.gov vehicle models that have rearview video systems. Next, as soon as the agency is able to verify that the vehicle model has a rearview video system meeting certain basic criteria, the agency will recognize those vehicle models as having this Recommended Advanced Technology Feature on www.safercar.gov.

As we’ve seen with other features in the past, adding rearview video systems to our list of recommended safety features will encourage both automakers and consumers to consider more vehicles that offer this important technology. While adding this technology to our list of safety features is important, I remain committed to implementing the rear visibility rule as well.

—Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

The agency believes that there will be significant advantages in incorporating rearview video systems into NCAP before completing a final rule amending FMVSS No. 111. Also, we believe that NCAP is an important consumer information program that not only educates consumers about the potential benefits of advanced safety technologies, but also supports the provision of these potentially life-saving technologies to the American public. By updating NCAP now, the agency believes that consumers will receive important information relating to the backover risk and manufacturers will receive advance recognition for designing and installing rearview video systems on their vehicles to mitigate that risk. Even after the agency promulgates a final rule to amend FMVSS No. 111, consumers and manufacturers will continue to benefit from this consumer information program during the final rule’s phase-in period.

—NHTSA Final Decision Notice

In order to be included as a Recommended Advanced Technology Feature, the rearview image must:

  • Cover the 20-foot by 10-foot zone directly behind the vehicle;

  • Be displayed within two seconds after the reverse direction is selected; and

  • Be large enough to enable the driver to make judgments about the objects in the image and avoid a crash with those objects.

Rearview video systems will replace Electronic Stability Control as a Recommended Advanced Technology Feature on www.safercar.gov, as the latter technology is now standard on all new vehicles. Forward collision warning (FCW) and lane departure warning (LDW) systems will continue to be featured on the site.

Since NHTSA began promoting these technologies, automakers have responded by integrating FCW and LDW into their fleets.

  • LDW systems were available in 51 vehicles in model year 2011, 69 vehicles in model year 2012 and are now available in 124 vehicles in model year 2013.

  • FCW systems were available in 50 vehicles in model year 2011, 79 vehicles in model year 2012 and are now available in 167 vehicles in model year 2013.

NHTSA’s NCAP program—known for its 5-Star Safety Ratings—highlights for consumers the vehicle makes and models that are equipped with the agency’s Recommended Advanced Technology Features that can help drivers avoid crashes and reduce other safety risks. Through the combination of safer vehicles, walkable communities, smart roadway designs, increased public awareness, and working with industry and federal, state and local partners, the Department hopes to reduce deaths and injuries.

Resources

Comments

NeilBlanchard

This is interesting - will it lead the way to also having video mirrors in place of the side view optical mirrors? This would reduce the aero drag caused by optical mirrors, and it could remove virtually all blind spots, too.

Neil

HarveyD

It could certainly be done together with interior windshield projection and/or using the existing dashboard display.

Brotherkenny4

I'd recomend a system of mechanical arms and sensors that detect activities involving cell phones and then reaches out, grabs the item from the baby, and slaps them in the face.

I am also very much a proponant of a verbal message played in vehicle cabins that tells people they are driving a car and should pay attention. Perhaps something like, "Hey! Mr braniac, pay attention, the vehicle is moving."

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