It makes sense that this latest product comes from Japan, which we maintain is headed toward a human-free society because of its declining population growth. Just as it has found so many ways to automate services, the Japanese have found one less duty for police to handle: fender benders.
As Plastic Bamboo notes, Fujitsu's automotive subsidiary has developed the equivalent of an airliner's black box to document "the scene and sounds of a traffic accident" with a system that includes a microphone, recorder and a camera with a 134-degree lens. The device automatically kicks in when it senses impact, sudden braking or other "gravitational change."
At an estimated $514, it's something that one can imagine becoming a regular option for automakers overseas. It's likely to be a very different story in the United States, however, where black boxes face uniquely constitutional issues of privacy.