Your Future Car Might Contain a Blackbox As Automakers and Airlines Get Together

While others cry the worrying overpopulation of this planet, carmakers seem to be engulfed in developing better safety systems to keep the occupants of their vehicles alive and well.
Ford Fusion crash test for NHTSA 1 photo
Photo: CrashNet1
On the one hand, you have the self-driving technology which aims to single-handedly reduce traffic-related fatalities to a very hard to imagine zero. Then there are the never-ending recalls that a lot of the car companies are constantly issuing - even though here it's more a case of making sure they don't get sued for whatever damage their vehicle's problem might cause.

Now, taking things even further, a bunch of automakers, airlines and US regulators have planned a meeting where they will discuss the possibility of implementing some of the safety features used in the airline industry into its automotive counterpart. The summit will take place on April 22 and will be closed to the public.

Mark Rosekind, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be hosting the event together with Michael Huerta, the Federal Aviation Administration chief. The idea of studying whether road safety can be improved by following the success of commercial aviation methods came after fatalities dropped by 83 percent for the latter from 1998 to 2008. This was possible due to a strong collaboration between airlines and the authorities which included sharing important data related to accidents.

The FAA and aviation industry have been tremendously successful reducing commercial aviation fatalities,” Rosekind said in a statement, quoted by Automotive News. “We are convening this cross-industry and cross-agency forum because we believe that the best practices will apply.”

For now, we have no clue what to expect from this meeting. Will they discuss installing equipment similar to a black box in a car, something that can store all the data that can later be examined in case of an accident? Will they focus on the much stricter examinations an airline pilot has to go through, and think of methods to convert that for car drivers? Will cars contain devices that can evaluate your state of health or sobriety and decide whether you're fit to drive or not each time you press the ignition button?

Whatever it is, it won't happen overnight. It will, however, encourage a more open communication between brands at least as far as safety is concerned, something that could pave the way to interconnected cars, the second half of the autonomous vehicles whole. Since this is the first meeting of this type, a good sign of how things went will be whether others will follow. Would you like to bet on that?
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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