- First backup camera system to meet new requirements
- Earns recommendation of federal safety regulator
- Standard on most Honda and Acura models
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) added backup camera systems to its list of Recommended Advanced Technology Features. According to NHTSA, rearview monitors could help prevent backover accidents while the agency works on much-needed rules for rearward visibility.
NHTSA began listing models with standard or available backup cameras in its safety ratings at SaferCar.gov. It also provided criteria that backup cameras should meet in order to be recommended by NHTSA. Honda and Acura backup cameras are now the first to meet those requirements.
All but one of the three criteria is straightforward and objective. The first requires that the system display an image of a 20′ x 10′ zone behind the vehicle. The second requires that the display activate no later than two seconds after the driver selects the reverse gear. The final requirement is more subjective: It states that the display must be large enough that the driver can recognize obstacles and avoid a crash.
Honda and Acura show their enthusiasm for the backup camera’s potential to reduce accidents and injuries by including the technology throughout their respective model lines. By 2015, every Honda and Acura model, including the new Honda Fit and Acura TLX, will come standard with a backup camera.
Of the various safety systems included among NHTSA’s Recommended Advanced Technology Features, backup cameras are arguably the most affordable and accessible. Other technologies on the list, like lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning, are still relatively expensive and limited in availability.
Backup cameras, meanwhile, have become all but ubiquitous, included as standard equipment or available for a small premium on even some of the most affordable new car models. In fact, more than 94 percent of Honda and Acura models sold in 2013 were equipped with a standard backup camera.
Drivers are enthusiastic, too. New body styles and greater roof-strength requirements have contributed to increasingly poor rear visibility. Backup cameras largely solve the issue, and the marginal cost is worth the benefits of improved safety and greater peace of mind.
What it means to you: Backup cameras may become a mandated safety feature for all new cars. NHTSA already recommends the feature, with Honda and Acura systems meeting its performance requirements.