Black Box for your Car? (World IT show 2010)
I saw one product at the 2010 World IT Show with a relatively simple concept that I think we should have had like 10 years ago. I began thinking to myself, why didn’t anyone think of that before? It is probably the one product I saw there that I know everybody needs. I predict in the future that soon every driver will have this product or something similar. We may even see the day that it becomes standard on all cars. Let me tell you a personal story, after that, I’ll introduce the product and you will see why it is a must have for everyone.
Tell me the story!
This is a story about my very first car. You see, in America, cars are pretty much a necessity unless you live in New York and have their wonderful subway system. I didn’t live in New York. When I was attending high school, all the various activities that I got involved in basically meant my parents had to drive me everywhere. Otherwise I took the bus. In Seoul, the bus is actually very convenient and can be relied upon to get you somewhere on time. In the DC area where I grew up, this isn’t always the case. I therefore had plenty of reason to get my own car. The only problem was that I didn’t have a lot of money. (And what normal high school kid does?).
Introducing the 1977 Pontiac Ventura. I was lucky enough to inherit it from my older brother when he went to college and…
1977! You’re OLD!!!!!!!
I might be old, but I’m not that old. The car was actually older than I was. I’m not going to tell you the exact year that I was driving it, but to put it in perspective, the car was made when the Bee Gees were popular. My jury rigged Discman was usually playing Stone Temple Pilots or Green Day. (A Discman is a portable CD player for you youngins). Needless to say, the car definitely wasn’t pretty, and I pretty much was the butt of every other student’s jokes for driving this clunker… including the people who didn’t even have cars. How sad is that?
But I thought driving old cars was cool!
Yes, it is if the car is well maintained. Mine was not. (And how can you expect a car inherited from a poor high school student to be?). Put it this way, when I was applying for a parking permit at my school, there was a question on the application asking the color of the car. My answer was “yellow and rust.” In addition to the wonderful iron oxide detailing, my car had a tailpipe that dragged along the ground and it didn’t really have a muffler. It basically sounded like an airplane when I was driving it. People would say that they could tell when I was near their house because of the vibration. One time I set off someone else’s car alarm simply by starting my car next to it.
What does this have to do with the product you saw at the 2010 expo?
Hang on, I’m getting there. The point is, even though I am very thankful to have had a car at all in retrospect, at the time, I thought the car was a piece of garbage and so I treated it as such. I’m sure my mother will not be happy to hear about this, but I used to purposely hit the “teacher parking only” signs in the parking lot of my school, simply because I could. One time, one of the rich kids wasn’t paying attention and he plowed his 90’s era import sports car into my car. I probably wasn’t paying attention very well either. Even though I had right of way, I am sure the low speed accident could have been avoided. Being that my car was made of steel and his was made of paper, his car’s front was completely smashed in. Mine had a little bit of blue paint on its back bumper. The police determined that it wasn’t my fault, so rather than extract repair money from the other guy (ha, what a joke..) I simply drove home. Other students with old cars use to purposely hit my car just for fun, and I did the same. (Of course this was at low speeds, I’m not an idiot, well not that much…)
Yea, so your car was old and you didn’t care about it, so what?
Well, the big point is, my parents probably still don’t know about all of the stupid things I did with this car, because I didn’t tell them. When you were a teenager did you tell your parents everything? I didn’t think so. When I look at it now, I realize that I was being really stupid, and I wouldn’t have done any of those things if my mom had been sitting next to me in the car. And so I introduce to you a product that will be mandatory for my future teenage son or daughter. Introducing Vision Drive!
What is Vision Drive?
Well it’s a black box for your car. Black boxes are those indestructible parts of an airplane that contain recordings of the airplane, from cockpit audio, to pilot vital signs, to information about the airplane such as altitude, speed, and direction. If there is a plane crash, the data in the black box will survive so that the cause of the crash can easily be determined.
If the black box is indestructible, why don’t they make the entire airplane out of black box?
No, but seriously, if I had had this in my (ahem) beautiful car, then I’d have always driven safely. My parents could have easily reviewed my driving habits with this thing and since I would have known that they have that power, I wouldn’t have done anything bad. The black box starts to record as soon as the car’s engine is started. It stops recording as soon as you turn the car off. In addition to recording your drive, it also functions as a GPS navigator.
What other situations would this be useful in?
Well, the main reason for it is to use as evidence in accidents. A lot of times when a car accident occurs, even people who know it is their own fault will not admit to it because they don’t want to pay for repairs. It then becomes the job of the police to determine who’s fault it is. This can be disastrous, because there could be many factors that cause the police man to make an error in judgement. In the worst case, the other car that hit you could just flee the scene of the accident. With Vision Drive, none of this will ever be a problem, as the camera will tell the full truth of what happened. It can also be used as evidence in accidents not involving your own car if you are called upon to be a witness in someone else’s accident. But above all the other uses, I think my parents would have probably benefited from this device the most because it would have forced me to drive safely.
Vision Drive is made by the Korean company GeoCross. You can find more information about it from their website.