You knew them for planes, they will now be present in cars too! From July 6, all new car models sold in Europe will be affected by these black boxes or event data recorders to use a more technical term.
They follow a measure established by the European Union, and may change the way accidents are investigated.
“The speed of the vehicle, the braking or lack of braking, the position of the vehicle on the road…” Florence Lustman, president of France assureur, begins to list all the data that these new black boxes will be able to collect in the event of an accident. In addition to this, the wearing of the seat belt and the activation of the turn signal are also included. However, these will only really be used in the event of an accident. It is in no way a question of spying on motorists, says the president.
What is recorded?
The small box, equipped with a microchip, records several data provided by the vehicle such as speed, acceleration or braking phase, seatbelt use, collision force, engine speed or vehicle inclination.
Unlike aircraft, these black boxes will not record sounds inside the cabin. The manufacturers “hope to be able to recover 40 seconds of data, that is to say 30 seconds before the shock and 10 seconds after, explains this Tuesday on franceinfo Anne Lavaud, general delegate of the association Prévention Routière. So, every 40 seconds the recorded data are crushed. It is clear that this does not record any personal data, that data concerning the behavior of the vehicle.
Who will have access to the data and why?
According to Anne Lavaud, the black boxes will be accessible to “judicial authorities, investigation offices and all research institutes working on road safety, including manufacturers’ research institutes.” A useful device for Vincent Julé-Parade, a lawyer specializing in the defense of road victims.
“The data will allow us in the case of trials in discussion around the responsibilities of accidents to better identify the driver who disengages without having put his turn signal or the precise speed at the time of the accident, he explains on France Inter. These are very subjective data that are very difficult to establish and know currently, it will simplify the procedures.
No impact on car prices
“We, insurers, are not the recipients of this information. It is information for the public authorities, for the legal authorities, for the research institutes in road safety. The idea is to study the factors that explain the severity of the accident in particular, and then to draw recommendations for prevention and thus improve road safety in Europe,” she explains.
A new tool, therefore, in the arsenal of the fight against death on the roads. The installation of the electronic box will have no impact on the price of cars. This is in any case what the professionals of the sector assure. Moreover, they only concern new models, they will be mandatory only from 2024 for the models of cars already marketed.
Welcomed by the associations of victims on the road, the measure remains decried by the main association of motorists, which sees a hunt for drivers.