Black box to become mandatory in all new cars

From Wednesday 6 July all new car models produced for sale in the Europe Union must have a black box. The black box has long been a feature in aircraft. It records data that can be used to reliably reconstruct events that led up to an accident. 

The Vias road safety institute confirmed on Tuesday that by July 2024 a black box will be mandatory in all new cars sold in EU member states, included Belgium.

Most cars are already equipped with a so-called "Event Data Recorder". However, the data it records is rarely requested by the courts. From 6 July EU regulations will change, making it easier for courts to obtain the data contained in a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder in the event of a major accident. 

The Event Data Recorder not only registers the speed of the car, but also measures, for example, whether the driver has braked, whether he/she has swerved and whether the vehicle’s airbag has deployed.

Unlike black boxes in planes, the black box in cars does not record what is said inside the vehicle. In principle, insurance companies will not be able to demand access to the data.

Intelligent Speed Assistance

In addition to the Event Data Recorder the ISA (Intelligent Speed ​​Assistance) system will also become mandatory in new car models from Wednesday. 

The Intelligent Speed ​​Assistance can detect the speed limit in force on a given road and, if necessary, slow down the car in order to ensure that it remains within the speed limit. Drivers can switch it off if they wish. However, the system will start up again automatically at the start of the next journey. 

In the United States black box technology has been mandatory in cars since 2012.  This has led to a significant decrease in the number of accidents there.

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