The European Union will have a new tool to fight accidents. All new cars get a so-called black box.

Almost every year, the European Union adds some kind of warning device to cars to help drivers avoid breaking the rules or act as a prevention of crisis situations. The Union has set itself the goal of zero road deaths by 2050. This year, new cars will be equipped with additional equipment that will bring motorists closer to this goal.

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From July 2022, all new homologated car types had to have a so-called “black box” on board, i.e. a recording device that records data a few seconds before and after an accident. From July 7 of this year, all newly registered cars of categories M1 and N1 must have it. This means passenger cars with a maximum of eight seats excluding the driver and light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tons.

The Event Data Recorder (EDR), as the device is called, starts recording if a crisis situation occurs, which it evaluates through the intervention of assistance or safety systems, or if there is an unexpectedly violent movement of the vehicle exceeding 8 km/h in the transverse or longitudinal direction within a fraction of a second . That is, similar parameters at which the eCall emergency call system is activated. The EDR thus captures the sequence before the accident and a few seconds after it.

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The idea is to better understand what happens in accidents, how individual safety systems work and where there is room for improvement. National authorities will have access to the data, which will be used for analysis and, in disputed cases, for determining the culprit of the accident. The goal of the European Union is to create a pan-European accident database, from which the subsequent development of other systems and legislation would be based.

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