Computer scientists are developing intelligent cars with aircraft-style black boxes that would make it easier to identify the cause of car crashes and the person responsible.
Researchers at computer chip giant Intel have created a device that can record information about vehicle speed, steering and braking along with video footage from inside and outside the vehicle.
This data would be automatically sent to police and insurance companies in the event of an accident.
The device forms part of an envisaged intelligent car which will be able to detect dangers on the road and even take over control from motorists.
The researchers have talked with car manufacturers about developing vehicles that are permanently connected to the internet and other vehicles using wireless technology.
Justin Ratner, the director of Intel Laboratories, said: “We are looking at a whole range of enhancements that will improve the driving experience, safety and security of vehicles.“The intelligent vehicle is what we are talking about here. Once a car is connected [to the internet] all sorts of interesting possibilities present themselves.”
Examples might include the ability to recognise street signs and take over control of a car if the motorist tries to drive the wrong way up a one-way street.
The cars will also be able to track surrounding vehicles and alert drivers if they get too close or try to change lanes when another vehicle is in their blind spot.
The intelligent cars could also have technology not relating to safety such as onboard sensors for detecting pot holes and report their location to road maintenance authorities.
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said: “A system like this could certainly help speed up the process of determining the cause and responsibility of an accident.
“Any system would have to not increase the cost of repairing vehicles though, to ensure that motorists see a fall in their insurance bills.”