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The Significance of Backup Cameras in Automobiles


TheSignificance of Backup Cameras in Automobiles

ResearchProposal, Thesis, Major Points, and PlanStudent’s name: LiHammons

Professor’sname: Neil Conway

Coursetitle: ENG215 Research and writing

Feburary 2 , 2014

TheSignificance of Backup Cameras in Automobiles

Shouldvehicles (cars, trucks, vans, SUVs) be required to have backupcameras?

Backup cameras are special video devices appended to the rear ofautomobiles to provide drivers with a clear view of behind cars whenthey are reversing. In many cases, drivers cause backup collisionbecause they have a rear blind spot. These cameras are also called‘rear view or reversing cameras’. Recently, many carmanufacturers are mounting the cameras in big vehicles such asmotorhomes and trailers so that a driver can safely reverse vehicleswithout causing carnages associated with rear blind sports.

Insome cases, drivers have accidentally crashed on people, property andcars passing behind the vehicle unknowingly. Vehicles withoutreversing cameras compel drivers to look for another person to directthem on reversing the vehicles. Rear view cameras are different fromregular video cameras because their images are horizontally flippedto give mirror images. This feature is crucial since the driver andthe camera are facing different directions (Wentland,2008).If a regular video camera is attached at the rear of a vehicle, theresulting image could be misleading, as the right hand side of thecamera would be the drivers’ left and vice versa. Some high-endvehicles such as Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), Motorhomes andconventional passenger trucks come with inbuilt servomechanisms,which drivers can pan and tilt until they get the best view of thecondition behind the car (Bhise, 2011). This research hypothesizesthat backup cameras are the ultimate solution for preventing vehiclereversing carnage for big cars.


Myaudience for this topic includes stakeholders in the transportindustry such as taxi operating companies, track companies andindividuals. The major characteristic of the target audience in thistopic is that they are all directly or indirectly involved in thetransport sector. Whether transporting goods, passengers or drivingpersonal cars, all drivers are vulnerable to backup collisions thatcause severe damages. In some cases, people have died after drivers’crash on them accidentally (Bhise, 2011).

The1956 Buick Centurion concept car featured the first backup camera.Instead of a rear mirror, the vehicle had a television camera mountedon the rear. The images collected by the camera were sent to atelevision screen attached on the dashboard. The Ford Escape is oneof the cars that feature rear view cameras as a built-in feature.However, small car owner can purchase semi-permanent or portableall-in-one cameras mounted permanently on the dashboard (Wentland,2008).In addition, the license-plate-frame modes allow facilitates mountingof backup cameras on vehicles without the need for permanentmodification of the features of a car. The CameronGulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007recommended that thefederal Secretary of Transportation introduce backup collision safetyregulations in to for execution within three years (Bhise,2011).One of the safety regulations of the act was mandating sale ofvehicles with enhanced rear vissibility. The NHTSA has postponedimplementation of this rule for three times consecutively. Althoughthe law is still under study, over 50% of the cars sold in the UnitedStates are fixed with backup cameras.


Thisproject will be helpful to everyone in the end and thus, it requiresjoint funding especially from all the stakeholders. Individualvehicle and company owners will be required to install the cameras attheir own cost. The government will facilitate this process bysubsidizing the cost of the cameras to make them affordable to thevehicle owners. According to NHTSA report, the cost of installingcars with rear view cameras will range between $58 and $203. The costrelies on whether a car features the basic interior display.Moreover, the complexity of the camera does influence the investmentcost (Parks,2011).

Driverscan choose from a wide variety of systems ranging from wireless,built-in servomechanisms, portable, night vision and license-platerear-view systems among others. The type of cameras vehicle ownerschoose significantly determines the investment cost. However, in thefuture, vehicle manufacturers will be required to install cameras intheir vehicles as a qualification of selling their vehicles in thecountry. This will ensure that all vehicles are installed with thecameras and thus, compliant with regulations. Presently, Honda is thesole vehicle manufacturer in the United States that has made allrearview cameras standard in all its automobiles (Parks,2011).


TheNHTSA has delayed implementation of theCameronGulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007because many cars in the United States do are not pre-installed withthe backup cameras. Moreover, the cost of mounting the cameras incars with no initial modifications to accomodate with the systems isquite high. Presently, the feasibility of project implementation isstill under study. Theproject will be imlemented in two major phases. Currently, theexisting cars do not have the cameras. This will mean that once theproject is approved, vehicle owners will be required to install thecameras at their own cost. This ought to be done within two months ofapproval of the project. The second phase will be a governmentdirective that all manufacturers pre- install cameras in theirvehicles before putting them on sale (Thomas,2012).This will take care of the future and work towards making it aculture to have cameras installed in vehicles. This will ensure thatall cars on the road are installed with cameras for uniformity andconformity with the law.


Theproject requires proper control to ensure accountability andefficiency. The most effective way of handling the system is throughhaving a centralized data backup system that will facilitateaccountability. Having individual control systems can lead totampering with the data and thus, lead to manipulation (Bhise, 2011).The rise in information technology knowledge has made it possible forpeople to control systems and manipulate them to their advantage. Toensure the effectiveness of this project, it will be necessary tohave a standard camera technology with a centralized data backup sothat the authorities can have credible information in case of anincident that would be solved using the footage. In addition, driverscan choose from a wide range of cameras, with some featuringsignificantly advanced technology that enhances their efficiencycomparing them to other versions. This implies that the governmentshould stipulate the basic features that cameras should have such asangle of view, remote control capacity, two- or one-way communicationcapabilities and night-vision capacities among other features thatmay enhance the efficiency and safety of drivers (Parks,2011). Furthermore, the government should decide whether the backupcameras to be mounted in vehicles should have capacity to record suchthat drivers can use them as prosecution evidence in court in casethey cause backup collision.


Thisproject does not involve a rise in the cost of transport. This isbecause the installation of the system will be done once and thismeans that there will be no regular costs involved (Wentland,2008).This will prevent increase in transport costs. Instead, the projectwill reduce the cost of compensating damages caused by backupaccidents. The systems eliminate blind spots that lead to dangerousaccidents when drivers are reversing out of parking or a place withobstructions that a driver can damage. In the future, all cars willcome with built-in backup cameras, thereby, making it affordable forcar-owners to own vehicles with rear view systems (Parks,2011).

Inconclusion, the transport sector has faced many challenges especiallythose involving backup collision carnage. These challenges can beovercome by installing cameras in vehicles so that all incidents arerecorded. The backup cameras are special systems that are designedto help drivers gain a good view of the rear side of car. Thisimplies that drivers of large vehicles such as motorhomes, passengertrucks and trailers can reverse their vehicles with no risk ofrunning over people or property backed approaching behind the car.The policy to regulate implementation of the backup cameras is stillpending in the US. The NHTSA has delayed execution of the policy inorder to give automobile owners and manufacturers a grace period fordeveloping appropriate technology to support this objective. So far,the US government has collected adequate evidence that supports thehypothesis of this research that backup cameras are the ultimatesolution for preventing vehicle reversing carnage for big cars.


Asthe backup collision continues to cause serious carnage that hasattracted the attention of automobile manufacturers and car owners,researchers have found that rear view cameras are the best solutionfor eliminating the rear blind challenge. These video cameras aredesigned specifically to help drivers of big cars, such as motorhomesand trucks, can see obstructions such as approaching people or carswhen reversing. The backup cameras differ from regular video camerasbecause they give mirror images. This means that the left sidereflected on the camera is similar to the left side of the driver.The United States proposed implementation of the CameronGulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, which is stillpending. Upon enactment of this regulation, all automobile owners andmanufacturers will have to attach standard backup cameras forassisting the drivers to have a wide view of the rear of vehicleswhen they are reversing out of a parking or towards a road that mayhave approaching traffic.

Manyexperienced drivers are vulnerable to causing backup collisions whenreversing in places with limited space such as car parks. Fortraditional vehicles, the drivers had to look for another person todirect them when controlling vehicles out of parking spaces. This ismainly common for large trailers, which obstructs the visibility ofdrivers. In some cases, a human guide may be unable to direct adriver accurately. However, rear view cameras displays a wide view ofthe condition behind a vehicles on a screen mounted on the dashboard. The view enables a driver to maneuver a car out of a restrainedplace easily (Hills,2005).

Reducingaccidents recurrence

Oneof the major advantages associated with back up cameras is reductionof the accidents recurrence. Several drivers cause accidents becausethey do not have a clear view of the environment behind theirvehicles. Similarly, big cars require extremely accuracy whenmaneuvering them out of constricted places such as a parking space(Hills,2005).The regions behind cars are notoriously associated with carnagessince drivers often collide with approaching cars when reversing, andin some cases, property, pets and people walking or standing behindcars have lost lives after drivers accidentally crashed on themaccidentally when reversing (Raum,2008). These cameras can reduce recurrence of accidents because some carmanufacturers mount their vehicles with night-vision enabled systemssuch that they can supplement clarity when automobile reversinglights do not provide efficient illumination.


Accordingto Wentland(2008),several insurance companies spend approximately 35% of their payoutscompensating their clients’ damages caused through backupcollision. Recent research in the automobile industry indicates thatdrivers can lessen accidents by more than 25% if they have backupcameras. Although the cost of installing the cameras in the cars thatwere manufactures quite some years back might be high, the value forthe cameras will be worth, as they will significantly reduce therisks of vehicles getting involved in accidents (Michelsonet al, 2003). Moreover, the government is giving subsidies on the backup camerasto make them affordable to many people. On the other hand, backupcameras’ manufacturers have designed a big collection of thesystems in order to ensure that drivers will find appliances thatwill suit their needs and budget. Some cars come with built-insystems thereby, drivers do not have to spend extra money mountingthe applications (Raum,2008).

Insome cases, car owners have been compelled to spend a lot of money torepair either their vehicles or other people’s property aftercrashing on it accidentally. Fortunately, the latest rear viewcameras give a wide and clear appearance of the reverse space,including, in dark places. The night-vision enabled systems collectclear improve accuracy of drivers (Michelsonet al, 2003).


Thebackup cameras come in diverse forms that suit both vehicles withbasic installation features as well as, cars with no preinstalledprograms. For example, the license-plate models allow car owners tomount permanent cameras without having to conduct significantmodification on the car. Some manufacturers are making Rear-CameraDisplays with ability to establish activities happening behind avehicle. For example, they can warn a driver when they are risk ofcolliding with an approaching vehicle. Although the United Statespassed an Act in 2007 to supervise implementation of the proposalthat required the state to make it compulsory for all drivers andmanufacturers to install backup cameras (Raum,2008).

Insummary, backup cameras are the ultimate solution for preventingvehicle reversing carnage for big cars as they give drivers a clearview of the environment behind the car. The cameras attached on thecars differ from standard video-recording appliances in that theygive mirror images. This means that the left side of the image on thescreen is similar to that of a driver and vice-versa. Some camerashave night visions while others come with high-end control techniquesthat allow drivers to tilt and adjust the angle of view to theiradvantage. Moreover, others are designed for permanent installationinto cars with no initial modification to accommodate the systems.Recently, all the cars come with inbuilt camera systems, thus carowners do not have to spend extra costs installing the systems.


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Parks,D. (2011). Automotivewiring : a practical guide to wiring your hot rod or custom car.Minneapolis, MN: MBI Pub. Company.

Wentland,K. (2008). Fordflexes back : changing the U.S. auto industry from deep within thetrenches.New York: Strategic Book Pub.

Michelson,A., Allen, R., &amp Turvey, M. (2003). Cameraobscura, camera lucida: Essays in honor of Annette Michelson.Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Raum,E. (2008). Thehistory of the camera.Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library.

Hills,L. (2005). Thecamera.Mankato, Minn: Capstone Press.