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Fatal Exit: The Automotive Black Box Debate

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A compelling argument for automotive technologies that speak for the victim, tell the truth, and could save millions of lives

Fatal Exit: The Automotive Black Box Debate cuts through thirty years of political wrangling and institutional biases to provide an argument for the Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorder (MVEDR). This automotive equivalent of an airplane's flight recorder or black box is intended to solve the mysteries of car crashes and improve the safety of our roads. The reader is taken inside the automotive industry and the government highway safety establishment to foster 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 to answer motorists' questions and concerns about the widespread use of MVEDRs are provided, including:

  • Detailed bibliography plus more than 400 footnoted references that lead readers to detailed explanations of the technology as well as to further discussions of all sides of the argument
  • Full examination of the unique legal and privacy issues that MVEDRs have raised
  • Expert forecast of the future of the impact of MVEDRs on the automotive industry and on consumers
  • Chronological summary of key events in the development of MVEDRs, including establishment of standards and key legislative milestones.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), motor vehicle crashes throughout the world killed 1.8 million people in 2002. Millions of others sustain injuries, with some suffering permanent disabilities. No country is spared this toll in lives and suffering, which strikes the young in particular. If current trends continue, the annual numbers of deaths and disabilities from road traffic injuries could, by the year 2020, rise by more than 60%, placing motor vehicle crashes at number three on the WHO's list of leading contributors to disease and injury. Given these statistics, this publication is essential reading for all consumers who need to have their voices heard on this critical issue, as well as for attorneys, public safety advocates, public policy administrators, engineers, automotive professionals, journalists, and insurance executives.

About the Author
Thomas M. Kowalick has been in the center of the international debate over the use of black box technologies for more than seven years. He is the President of Click, Inc.®—Transportation Safety Technologies, a member of the Author's Guild, and is a Professor of History and Holocaust Studies at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He holds three patents related to MVEDRs and is Co-Chair of the IEEE-SA Global Project 1616: Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorder Standard.

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