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NHTSA Report Makes Way for a Camera in Every New Vehicle

March 20, 2009

NHTSA Report Makes Way for a Camera in Every New Vehicle

WELLINGBOROUGH, UK, March 20, 2009 – A rear view camera in every vehicle sold in the USA? It might be reality sooner than you think. A few weeks ago, Intelligent Transportation Society of America member U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published its initial findings for amendment of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111 to improve the driver ability to see the area behind the vehicle. The amendment was initiated by The Kids and Safety Act which was passed in February last year. The Act directed the Secretary of Transport “to issue regulations to reduce the incidence of child injury and death occurring inside or outside of light motor vehicles”.
About 300 people, predominately children under the age of five, are injured or killed in reversing accidents every year in the USA. When the Act was passed last year it was after years of lobbying and campaigning by different groups for some kind of ruling to help reduce the risk of such accidents.
In phase one of the rule-making, the NTHSA have been investigating the cost and viability of potential solutions. The report reveals that the most promising technology so far is rear view video (camera). However, it indicates that standard fitment might only become mandatory for vehicles most frequently involved in reversing accidents, i.e. pick-up trucks and utility vehicles. The NHTSA is now asking for further data and comments from the public, to help with the final decision.
Interestingly, more U.S. vehicles are already starting to feature rear view cameras. Ford for example, is planning to offer rear view cameras as standard or option on 75% of its vehicles by the end of this year. “It’s a positive cycle”, says Helena Perslow, market research analyst at IMS Research. “It’s not until drivers experience a rear view system that they fully appreciate its value. The fact that it is becoming more common for their friends, colleagues or relatives to own vehicles with rear view systems is therefore likely to increase their familiarity with such systems”. She continues “We estimate that 21% of vehicle produced in North America (USA, Canada and Mexico) had park assist in 2008. However, only about 9% of those park assist systems used cameras”. At least one more major vehicle manufacturer is already set to follow Ford. The possibility of a camera one day in every vehicle sold in the U.S. suddenly does not seem too far fetched.
About IMS Research
IMS Research is a supplier of market research and consultancy services on a wide range of global electronics markets. The company is supported by headquarters in Wellingborough, UK and offices in Austin, Texas and Shanghai, China. IMS Research regularly publishes detailed research on the automotive market, among others.
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