Paul Horrell22 March 2010

Toyotas to get ‘black boxes’

The beleaguered car maker is developing aircraft-style data recorders to fit in all of its cars

Toyota Prius

One aspect of the Toyota recall you might not have considered. The company is developing a more comprehensive ‘black box' data recorder to be installed in every car. Like the ones in aircraft, these will record exactly what's happening in key systems up to a crash.

They'll keep an eye on speed, throttle, brakes and more.

Toyota wants to use the data to help diagnose the causes of ‘unintended acceleration'. There's a big storm brewing in the US, where many consumer groups and members of the congress are alleging that there's a more complex problem than the sticky throttle pedal that's being recalled in Britain at the moment.

Of course, you can immediately see where this is going. If this idea catches on, every move we make as drivers will be recorded and could be stored. Fancy that? Us neither.

Paul Horrell, Consultant Editor of Top Gear magazine

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