First book to document automotive black box debate now available from Wiley


Motor vehicle crashes resulted in 1.8 million deaths worldwide in 2002, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Millions of others sustain injuries, with some suffering permanent disabilities. The automotive equivalent of an airplane's flight recorder, Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorders (MVEDRs) are an on-board technology capable of monitoring, recording, displaying, storing, or transmitting pre-crash, crash, and post-crash data. Although intended to solve the mysteries of car crashes and improve the safety of our roads, this technology has caused considerable international controversy and political wrangling. In the United States, nearly 221 million registered owners of motor vehicles are becoming more aware of black box technology through the media, including newspaper and magazine articles and television. Although owners understand that black boxes exist in 40 million cars, many questions and concerns still persist about widespread use of the technology.

"Fatal Exit: The Automotive Black Box Debate" (Wiley-IEEE Press; October 2004; $64.95; Cloth; 0-471-69807-5) is the first and only book documenting the decades-long debate among the automotive industry, government regulators, and safety and privacy advocates over what the public calls "automobile black boxes." This enlightening text traces the history of the debate in the United States from 1974 to 2004; presents viewpoints for and against the widespread use of emerging MVEDR technology; and outlines proposals to proceed with developing and utilizing the technology in ways that are both effective and respectful of individual privacy. Offering an inside guide to the automotive industry and the government highway safety establishment, FATAL EXIT fosters an understanding of the politics and the positions on all sides of this safety debate. The author takes an unbiased approach, chronologically presenting each argument and uncovering the agendas and mandates of each of the stakeholders.

The Information Needed to Understand the Technology and Concerns Regarding the Widespread Use of MVEDRs Is Presented, Including:

  • The unique legal and privacy issues resulting from the emergence of this technology
  • The future impact of MVEDRs on the automotive industry and consumers
  • Key events in the development of MVEDRs, such as the establishment of standards and major legislative milestones

    "Fatal Exit: The Automotive Black Box Debate" will prove useful to lawyers, lobbyists, researchers, scientists, and professionals in industry, engineering, communications, and information science. The book will enable readers to develop an informed opinion as to the usefulness of black boxes and thus contribute intelligently to the debate as the federal government considers mandating this technology.

    Source: Eurekalert & others

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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