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Black box in the car. From July 7, 2024, it will be mandatory for newly registered cars

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As of Sunday, all newly registered cars must be equipped with event data recorders (EDR), said Mikołaj Krupiński, spokesman for the Motor Transport Institute (ITS). He explained that these are devices similar to the so-called black boxes installed in airplanes.

The ITS spokesman said that the “black boxes” are intended to record driving parameters and the circumstances of accidents. This is to help determine the causes of accidents and their course.

“Black boxes” mandatory in newly registered cars

– From Sunday, all newly registered passenger cars and delivery vans up to 3.5 tonnes will have to be equipped with so-called black boxes, in accordance with the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU), Krupiński said. He added that the mandatory installation of these devices in buses and trucks over 3.5 tonnes will come into force on January 7, 2026.

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– The devices we are talking about are Event Data Recorders (EDR). Their purpose is to help explain the causes of accidents. The devices will record travel data, and in the event of an accident, they will permanently save five seconds before and after the road incident. Only authorized persons will have access to them – emergency services, investigators, road safety experts, vehicle manufacturers and repair shops – noted the ITS spokesman.

EDR in cars

According to the police, the requirement to equip new cars with event data recorders (EDR) may improve road safety.

– Police officers at the scene of a road accident perform a number of activities, including inspection of the scene and inspection of vehicles. However, the data obtained from these recorders will certainly allow for an even more precise determination of the causes of accidents – said Commissioner Antoni Rzeczkowski from the Road Traffic Office of the Police Headquarters.

He added that thanks to the recorders, experts can obtain information about the driver's behavior and the behavior of the vehicle a few seconds before the incident. He noted that the expert will conduct the readings from the recorder at the request of the prosecutor.

As reported by the Motor Transport Institute, the so-called black boxes will monitor and record various parameters, including: longitudinal and lateral acceleration, vehicle rotation, brake pressure, steering wheel angle, engine speed, gearbox mode, throttle valve opening or closing, road speed and torque. The operation of safety systems such as airbags, seat belts and their pretensioners will also be recorded.

– EDRs can play a key role in many situations. In the case of fatal accidents, when there were no witnesses, they can provide essential information about the course of the event. They can also serve as evidence in court when there is a dispute about the accident. Analysis of EDR data is also important for developing new safety systems and for training drivers, which can lead to improving their habits – assessed Krupiński.

Under EU regulations, vehicle manufacturers must ensure that EDR data is protected against manipulation and is anonymous. The information is to be available in a machine-readable format, without the possibility of identifying an individual. Manufacturers must also provide technical data and diagnostic tools needed to obtain and interpret EDR data. This data is to be accessible via standard interfaces and suitably protected against unauthorized access. The European Commission is also introducing standardized communication protocols to facilitate access to EDR information.

According to ITS experts, the popularization of EDR is an important step towards improving safety. Thanks to the devices, it will be possible to implement more effective preventive measures, which will contribute to reducing the number of road accidents and improving the safety of all road users.

Main image source: Scharfsinn/Shutterstock

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