The Buick brand will have backup cameras as standard on all its 2015 models. The United States Department of Transportation on March approved federal rear visibility standards, mandating backup cameras in all new vehicles that weigh less than 10,000 lbs by 2018.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement that the auto industry has already adopted the technology, with the cameras coming as standard or optional in two-thirds of the 50 best-selling vehicles in the US.
Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in Buick’s press release that rear backup cameras have become like power windows and air conditioning, which while not offered as standard on every car, “it’s rare to operate a new vehicle without them.”
Buick cited a 2013 study of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute that showed that cars having backup cameras have a notably lower rate of backup crashes. The study showed that 292 people are killed and 18,000 injured in backup crashes ever year.
The institute found that backup cameras can eliminate vehicle blind spots by around 90 percent. Duncan Aldred, US vice president of Buick and GMC, said in the statement, that while current Buick lineup holds several safety accolades, they still pushing to be at the forefront by offering vehicles that are among the safest available.
At least three other major brands -- Infiniti, Honda and Acura -- have disclosed plans to offer back up cameras as standard in the US. Kyle Bazemore, spokesman for Infiniti US, said that backup cameras are already offered as standard in all Infiniti vehicles, starting with the 2013 model year.
Honda has also tweeted that all Honda and Acura vehicles for model year 2014 feature backup cameras. Its Web site says that despite the lack of regulation requiring backup cameras, the carmaker has already made the feature as standard on nearly 100 percent of all new Honda and Acura vehicles. [source: Buick]