All new cars and other passenger vehicles sold in Europe starting in June will be equipped with airplane-style 'black boxes' that will record crucial data in the seconds before, during and after an accident.
The 'Event Data Recorder,' required under rules announced in 2022, will in most cases be integrated in the airbag control unit and activate automatically when the airbags and seatbelt tensioners become active. It also kicks in if speed changes greater than 8 km/h in 0.15 seconds is detected.
The data will be collected anonymously for research purposes into safer vehicles, but will also be available to determine responsibility for accidents. Among the items the EDR measures are speed, accelerator pressure, engine speed, turning angle, brake action and whether the airbag activates.