Photo: jesse757 via flickr
The rearview camera originated in high end cars and has slowly trickled down to less expensive models over the past few years.However, they may soon be everywhere. The New York Times is reporting that Federal regulators are about to announce that all cars will require a backup camera by 2014.
This is supposed to make it easier for people to see behind them and prevent incidents where someone is in a blind spot and run over.
The New York Times says that 45 per cent of new cars come standard with a backup camera and it is optional on 23 per cent of cars.
Regulators are predicting that the cost per vehicle to add the cameras and screens will be in the $200 range. Obviously, some of this increase will be passed on to the consumer.
While it is well intentioned, the requirement may also be shortsighted.
Manufacturers plan features and designs years in advance. With 2013 cars already starting to roll off the production line, this leaves a very short turnaround for the automakers to include the technology in current and upcoming models.
On the surface the tech may be cheap, but re-engineering the car to accommodate a video screen and camera will cost more money than that, especially since product designs and features are almost certainly locked in for 2014. The cost of changing cars that are not slated to be equipped with rearview cameras will almost certainly be higher than the $200 estimate.
But aside from the auto industry, this is a sad comment on the state of society.
Adding cameras seems to be another reaction to people that are more interested in everything else going on while they are driving…except the act of driving. Instead of looking where they are going or performing a simple act of making sure children aren’t in the area of the car, people lobby for a device so they don’t have to get out of the car.
The New York Times says that in 2006-2010, 448 children were killed due to back over accidents. 10 years prior, just 88 were killed in a four year period
Frankly, it just comes off as lazy.
If more attention were paid to the road and surroundings than Twitter, Facebook, and text messages, adding cameras would probably not be a necessary step. We’re also willing to bet that a number of those children would still be alive today.
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