While self-driving cars may be a far-off reality, other automobile innovations are in the near future. By the year 2014, rearview cameras that help prevent accidental back-ins will be mandatory in passenger vehicles. According to the New York Times, federal regulators will announce this new rule--which was first proposed in 2010--on Wednesday, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sends the mandate to Congress.
As technology advances, automakers and federal regulators work to make the road safer for both pedestrians and drivers. These cameras help give drivers a better view of what is behind them by eliminating a wide blind spot. Each week, two children die and about 50 are injured from someone backing over them. This mandate aims to address these tragic statistics, and regulators say that it could prevent "95 to 112 deaths and as many as 8,374 injuries" each year.
The added cost of this measure will fall at least partially on consumers' shoulders. The cameras, which come with an additional cost of up to $200 per vehicle, an increase of $2.7 billion for the auto industry each year. Currently, less than half of 2012 vehicles feature this technology as part of their standard model.
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