Everything you need to know about black boxes in cars

Emergency braking, speed adapter and event data recorder, here are the new safety features which all new vehicles in the European Union must have since 1 May. For used vehicles, these new obligations intended to improve road safety will not become necessary until 2024.

These systems were adopted in 2019 by the European Parliament. And it is essentially the event data recorder, very quickly nicknamed “black box” which is the most talked about.

The black box will most often take the form of a smart box. The French manufacturer Renault has meanwhile decided that it would be a simple update of the on-board software. A similar device is also in force in the United States since 2015.

What is recorded?

The small box, equipped with an electronic chip, records several data provided by the vehicle such as the speed, the acceleration or braking phase, the wearing of the seat belt, the force of the collision, the engine speed or the inclination of the vehicle. However, unlike those on airplanes, these black boxes will not record sounds inside the cabin.

Builders “hope to be able to recover 40 seconds of dataor 30 seconds before the shock and 10 seconds after, explains this Tuesday on franceinfo Anne Lavaud, General Delegate of theroad safety association.

The data recorded by the black boxes will allow investigators and judges to obtain as many details as possible on the circumstances of the accidents and possibly establish everyone’s responsibilities when the event occurs between at least two people. The device should also allowaccelerate the compensation of accident victims of circulation thanks to the many recorded elements.

What cost for the user?

On franceinfo, Pierre Chasseray, general delegate of the association 40 million motorists, sees above all “additional cost on vehicles“: “We miss out on everything else, in particular the refusal of priorities, the use of the telephone while driving, in the end it will bring absolutely nothing.”

The association recalls that “the law provides that if initially only new models are affected by the obligation (for an additional cost of around €100, according to the manufacturers), from 2024, vehicles placed on the second-hand market will also have to satisfy the obligation”. “Between the cost of labor and that of the device, it is therefore in this case several hundred euros which could increase the bill“, she concludes.

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Everything you need to know about black boxes in cars


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