Starting from July 2022: mandatory black box
The black box - which has been standard equipment on aircraft for years, will also make its way into the automotive world on 1 July 2022. From this date, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, the model versions of which are completely new to the market, must carry an “event-related data recorder” – in short, an “accident data recorder”. What remains different from a black box in an aircraft, however, is that the data of the entire route is not recorded. If an accident occurs, the box automatically records the last five seconds before the event. This is to address questions such as: “Was the indicator light set?” “Were the lights on?” or “Did the airbag open properly?”. The data remains in the vehicle itself and is only accessible to the investigating authorities. As long as the black box does not perceive any events that require recording, the data is continuously overwritten.
It is important to mention in this context that the data of the box are not read out in every accident. This usually happens in the case of traffic accidents with seriously injured persons or with fatalities, or in the case of suspected speeding offences where there was a subsequent accident.
After a transitional period of two years, i.e. 2024, all newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles must be equipped with the black box.