Intel has begun working to produce an event recorder that works like a black box that will be fitted on cars as part their program on Connected Car research. Last month, Intel hosted a series of press releases, where it demonstrated some of the features of this black box. The features included the capability to record events and some other auto-oriented technologies. Congress is said to be pushing a legislation on auto safety that may make such black boxes a mandatory part of future auto vehicles.

Intel’s black box-like event recorder would have the capability to record basic vehicle and telemetry information such as time of accident, car speed and if the seat belts were being used before the accident. As a test, Intel fitted a Smart car, the Smart Fortwo with a 4G wireless system, the WIMax that could provides internet connection and high-speed data on any moving object.

Sources from Intel suggest that the final product may likely have video cameras fitted in and out of the car. Video in cars, is not necessary a new idea but when combined with GPS systems with the ability to record and store about 30 seconds of video, it becomes a useful equipment to provide pre-accident data. It has not been said if the videos will be sent or used by insurance companies, but it will certainly make the work of insurance and police investigators easier.

The event recorder from Intel will be able to be hooked up with the present computer control modules and will be able to record information such as if brakes were applied or if any mechanical car part malfunctioned. The event recorder’s sophisticated vision systems will also be able to see and record if a road sign or traffic light was ignored at the time of the accident. Other attractive features include the ability to capture and send a video of a car thief to the cellphone of the owner, plus remote start and the ability to detect and report pothole positions to road crews.

The question that many people may now be asking is how much this fancy high tech event recorder will cost? A lot of people are concerned that the black box will significantly increase the retail cost of new cars by several thousands of dollars especially since they will be more complicated than black boxes on airplanes, which is a less complex device without need for features such as video recording.

According to Mr Rattner from Intel, the cost will not necessarily be too high as many of the necessary hardware will already be on the car. He also pointed out that many luxury cars already had video camera features with driver warning and parking assistant functions. In a few years the device is expected to become a regular standard device with modest pricing.