Starting in 2018, every sub-10,000-pound car sold in the United States will need a backup assist camera on-board.
Our glorious overlords at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have decided: Starting in 2018, All new cars sold in the US will need to have “rear visibility technology” included.
Rear visibility tech is fancy talk for backup assist cameras — the little jobs that currently sit above license plates on luxury and mid-range cars of all shapes and sizes. No longer will that junk in the truck be a luxury for the elite; the proletariat will have their backup cameras, and eat them, too (writer’s note: please do not eat cameras of any kind).
From the press release on nhtsa.gov: “Today’s final rule requires all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury resulting from backover incidents. The field of view must include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.”
In all seriousness, this is a fantastic move. You should never stop honing your driving skills (this goes double for much of the Metropolitan Los Angeles area population), but backing out into busy city streets or kid-loaded suburban wastelands can always be tricky. The more safety features we have access to while driving 3,000-pound combustible death machines, the better.