News

'Black box' data recorder for your car

  • EU wants national legislation
  • Data would be used after a crash
  • 'Boxes' cut accident rates
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Cars could get aircraft-style 'black box' recorders after an EU-funded study said that they should be installed in all new cars.

The 'event data recorders' would monitor up to 20 pieces of telemetry, including the car's speed, braking force and driver inputs.

Boxes will help apportion blame
After an accident, police and insurance companies would be able to use the data to accurately discover what happened - and to apportion blame.

Boxes cut accident rates and save money
The three-year study revealed that drivers of cars fitted with data recorders were 10% less likely to be involved in a fatal accident, and that repair bills after a crash were cut by an average of 25%.

Many UK vehicles are already fitted with data recorders, including lorries and emergency response vehicles.

In the US, more than two-thirds of new cars are now fitted with some kind of data recorder, although most of these are far simpler than those being proposed by the EU's report.

Fitting data recorders would add about 500 to the cost of each car, and although the EU is behind the take up of such technology, the decision on whether to make them compulsory remains with national governments.