More than half of new 2005 cars had one. GM and Ford put them in almost all their vehicles. They’re black boxes similar to those found in airplanes, and they record a variety of data involved in a crash, including speed, acceleration, airbag deployment and more.
Today, the government said automakers will have to disclose to buyers that the car they’re buying has a black box; privacy advocates have been requesting this disclosure. Automakers are also being told to make the data recorders stronger. The government and automakers hope the data the boxes collect will lead to safety innovations and even safer roads. For some reason the new rules don’t require every automaker to put a black box in all new vehicles.