Your vehicle will soon come with a black box — like in an aeroplane — and other intelligent transport systems to make your ride smoother.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways C.P. Joshi mooted the need for the induction of technology at his meeting with CEOs of automobile manufacturing to avoid controversies relating to insurance claims and misuse of power by those checking overloading, besides ensuring a better transportation system.

The idea of a black box will be to record whether the driver had applied the brakes and the speed of the vehicle at the point of impact in the case of an accident, among other details, and, thereby, help establish the cause (or culprit ) of the mishap.

It will help the insurance companies too in deciding whether or not to entertain insurance claims.

Some automakers said they had, in fact, designed and tested such a gadget and appreciated the move. They said it was possible to install it in each vehicle at an affordable cost.

The manufacturers recommended that the government make it mandatory for cars to be fitted with the device rather than let it be optional.

Such an initiative will be an unprecedented innovation as no other country has such equipment installed in vehicles. The need for it in India arises from cattle and pedestrians crossing the roads willy-nilly as well as the insensitivity of vehicle owners to allow them preferential treatment.

Similarly, vehicles will also get the Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) chip which Dr. Joshi insisted on so as to enable vehicles to pass through electronic toll collection plazas. The Ministry expects to bring all plazas under the ETC system to avoid congestion.

Trucks will be attached with sensors to prevent them from plying loads above their weighted design, as overloading has a direct bearing on damage to road, and traffic jams and are one of the major causes of accidents.

Transport and Highways secretary A.K. Upadhyay did not even approve of States heavily taxing overloading, saying it was not a good practice.

The Ministry intends to press for fuel and emission norms, but differences need to be sorted out on the issue of a timeline.

Keywords: car black boxes

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