Yes, your car has a ‘black box’ data recorder

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Event Data Recorder Unit

Big brother’s riding shotgun.

Black boxes are now installed in 96 percent of cars being manufactured today, the New York Times reports.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants event data recorders to be standard technology for all vehicles sold in the United States by 2014. Automotive black boxes are different than those in airplanes, which continuously record data.

In cars, the under-dashboard boxes only transmit information, vehicle speed, brake activity, crash forces and even seatbelt use, to the car’s computer in the event of a crash or airbag deployment.

 See: Event Data Recorders: A New Resource for Traffic Safety Research? (PDF)