Testing & Analysis:

Event Data Recorder Imaging / Download

The “Black Box”

Most light duty vehicles and some motorcycle models (Kawasaki and Can Am) are equipped with technology that stores crash data or event data. The data is stored by the technology in the vehicle that functions as an Event Data Recorder or “EDR”. This is sometimes referred as the vehicle’s “Black Box”.

How this information is stored differs between manufacturers and sometimes the technical terms get interchanged. Typically this Event Data Recorder information is stored within the vehicle’s restraint control system or engine control module. In many light duty vehicles, this EDR information can be collected using a Crash Data Retrieval system or “CDR”.

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Some of the information that an EDR can record is:

  • Vehicle Speed
  • Seat Belt Buckle Switch Status (buckled or unbuckled)
  • Engine Speed
  • Brake Switch Status (brakes engaged)
  • Throttle Percent
  • Steering Angle
  • Outside Air Temperature

If any of the vehicles involved in a crash are equipped with an EDR, the EDR data can be collected and used as additional evidence in the investigation. Event data recorder imaging can be completed by 830 Engineering on light duty vehicles using the Bosch CDR tool.

The EDR or black box is typically imaged/downloaded directly from the vehicle during a vehicle inspection. Alternatively, the vehicle’s hardware (General Motors SDM, etc.) can be connected directly to the Bosch CDR tool and the EDR information. The latter technique can sometimes be used if the vehicle has been repaired and the vehicle’s hardware that stores the EDR data was retained.

Some motorcycles such as Kawasaki and Can Am are equipped with an EDR.  These can require manufacturer involvement to image or download the Event Data Recorder data.

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