More and more car makers are offering a reverse camera to improve visibility while backing up. It would be easy to add a small flash memory drive that continually records in a 10 or 20 minute loop. This would enable the recording of a car accident for insurance purposes or police documentation.
A camera shut-off could be triggered by the same sensors that deploy the airbags, or started manually with a button. This way, the memory drive would hold only the footage immediately before and after the collision or incident. The video could then be uploaded to a USB drive for the police or your insurance company.
With reverse cameras already in place, one can imagine the hardware and firmware would cost car manufacturers less than $30 to mass produce. This would be limited to viewing events behind the car, but the system could possibly be bolstered with a cheap forward facing camera, and perhaps a data stream from the dashboard with the current speedometer reading, compass direction, etc. This would perform a similar function to the ‘black box’ in airliners.
IDEATION: August 7, 2009, submitted by Jake Salter.