Backup Camera Mandate Affects Radio

Big in-dash screens will soon be required in certain vehicles, and that has implications for radio.

Starting in 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require vehicles built from May 1, 2018 on to have a backup camera. The rule applies to all road-legal vehicles under 10,000 pounds.

While the point is to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by “back-over” accidents, the mandate means auto manufacturers will also want something to display on the screens when they aren’t being used as a backup-camera and when the car is not in reverse.

We’ve previously reported that HD Radio proponents have said mandatory backup cameras means an acceleration of digital radio technology being included as standard equipment in OEM large-screen entertainment systems. Of course, so too, will other in-dash competitors, like streaming radio.

IBiquity says it’s closing in on 20 million HD Radio receivers in consumers’ hands. Of those, some 16.5 million are in vehicles.

On average, there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by back-over incidents, according to NHTSA, which finds that children under 5 account for 31% of back-over fatalities each year, and adults 70+ account for 26%.

The rule requires a backup camera to show a field of vision at least 10 feet wide behind the vehicle, going back a minimum of 20 feet. Other parts of the rule considered display size and linger time, or how long the rearview camera image remains on the display when the driver changes out of reverse. NHTSA did not mandate an exact screen size.


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Who says it will be in the dash? It could be a small 3" x 2" monitor built into the rear view mirror since the size isn't mandated. If I was 'el-cheapo cars inc', that's where I'd put the monitor rather than build a $1000 radio that does everything under the sun, and that then becomes a single point of failure if you intertwine radio, HVAC, back-up all into one device. One device fails = no go. Ask Ford how that's working out for them right now. Consumer Reports is dinging them for their car dash electronics (and transmissions) as a reason NOT to buy a Ford, despite the engine working well. Don't assume anything - GM saved 45 cents on heavier keyswitch springs and look what that is costing them.
By General Crabbie on 4/2/2014

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