What is an EDR?

An EDR (or Event Data Recorder) is essentially the black box in a car, which records and captures specific inputs when a crash occurs. These inputs can vary depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle. This data is used regularly when reconstructing accidents to determine specific actions during a crash. These actions may include, but are not limited to braking, acceleration and steering wheel inputs.

Publication Introduction:

In 2000, the commercially available Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) system was released [1]. This tool allowed technicians to image and preserve post-crash data from select 1994 model year and newer General Motors vehicles. In model year 1999, select GM vehicles began to report Pre-Crash data. In 2003, the CDR system announced support of select Ford vehicles for 2001 model year and newer vehicles. In August of 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued rule 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 563, pertaining to the standardization of data and data retrieval methods for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds or less that were already voluntarily recording time-series event data [2]. This prompted additional automobile manufacturers to partner with the CDR system. Beginning in 2007, a new release of the CDR system supported select 2005 model year and newer Chrysler vehicles Figure 1 contains a timeline of EDR coverage using commercially available tools by model year and major automaker. (For a complete list of coverage by the CDR system at the time of publication, please refer to: http://crashdatagroup.com/software/CDR_v16.4_Vehicle_Coverage_List_R1_0_0.pdf) ….. Read more

Full Publication:

SAE 2016-01-1497 – A Compendium of Passenger Vehicle Event Data Recorder Literature and Analysis of Validation Studies 


Will Bortles, Wayne Biever, Neal Carter, Connor Smith 

Related Case Studies, Content & Research:

Infotainment System Data Research
Drivecam Data Research
Smartphone Data Acquisition Research
SAE 2017-01-1437 – An Introduction to Forensic Acquisition of Passenger Vehicle Infotainment and Telematics Systems Data
SAE 2016-01-1497 – A Compendium of Passenger Vehicle Event Data Recorder Literature and Analysis of Validation Studies 
SAE 2016-01-1461 – Data Acquisition using Smart Phone Applications
SAE 2013-01-0778 – Using Data from a DriveCam Event Recorder to Reconstruct a Vehicle-to-Vehicle Impact
ABA 2013-Spring – The Misunderstood Witness – Event Data Recorders for Heavy Vehicles
Collision Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2012 – Using Data from DriveCam Video Event Recorder to Reconstruct a Hard Braking Event
ABA 2012-Summer – Automotive Event Data Recorders Ushering in a New Era of Accident Reconstruction

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