Automotive black boxes could be mandatory by 2015.
Roadside arguments over who was to blame for a fender bender could soon be a thing of the past. Like a football referee reverting to the instant replay booth, new vehicles could soon offer virtual playbacks, thanks to a Senate-approved bill that would require the installation of automotive Event Data Recorders by 2015. The loftily titled "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act" does stipulate that the owner of the vehicle is also the owner of the logged driving data. That is, unless someone else requests it by court order.
Some worry the devices could be used for other less scrupulous reasons, such as unwarranted surveillance or limited driving access based on physical or financial factors. Didn't get your taxes done on time? No problem, the IRS could simply shut down your car until you pay up. While some conspiracy angles are a bit extreme, the does seem to warrant more than a cursory glance to make certain it can't be abused.
The bill is now awaiting approval by the U.S. House of Representatives.