The "black box" in our cars is formally known as "the event data recorder" (EDR). But pretty much everyone knows it as the black box – and its evidence can be damning. Black boxes have been required on cars made since 2014, but the technology was in use earlier.
The black box provided damning evidence against Daniel Greis, a Kentucky man charged with causing a crash that killed five people - a husband and wife and their three children. Investigators say Greis was intoxicated when he crossed a double yellow line to illegally pass a vehicle and hit the oncoming car head on.
The EDR stores between five and 20 seconds of information on a loop until a crash and then saves the data. In this case, it showed the progression of speed from 83 miles per hour at 2.5 seconds before impact to 96 miles per hour when the cars collided. It also showed the accelerator pressed to 100 percent until the moment of impact.
The EDR can also record information relating to breaking, seat belt use, airbag deployment and steering movement. While the data in the EDR belongs to the owner of the car, a court can subpoena the data.
Thanks to loyal RTL reader Jeff Sallee for sending this story along. A somber story, but one that should make us hug our loved ones a little tighter tomorrow – and resolve never to drive under the influence.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology