"Black box" recordings tell tales in auto crashes - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

"Black box" recordings tell tales in auto crashes

Posted: Updated:
An electronic data recorder stores a car's activity in case of a crash. An electronic data recorder stores a car's activity in case of a crash.
The government wants EDRs in all new cars by 2014. The government wants EDRs in all new cars by 2014.
  • HeadlinesHeadlinesMore>>

  • BREAKING: One dead & multiple houses burn in two alarm fire

    BREAKING: One dead & multiple houses burn in two alarm fire

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 06:03:20 GMT
    Fire crews try to put out a house fire at 28th & Rader Ave.Fire crews try to put out a house fire at 28th & Rader Ave.
    The Indianapolis Fire department confirms that one person has died in a two alarm fire on the near northwest side.
     
    We will have the latest on this fire on Weekend Sunrise at 6 a.m.
    More >>
    The Indianapolis Fire department confirms that one person has died in a two alarm fire on the near northwest side.
     
    We will have the latest on this fire on Weekend Sunrise at 6 a.m.
    More >>
  • Eyewitness News wins 7 AP awards

    Eyewitness News wins 7 AP awards

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:59:03 GMT
    WTHR Channel 13 Saturday was honored with seven first place awards from the Indiana Associated Press, including Best Newscast and Best Continuing Coverage.More >>
    WTHR Channel 13 Saturday was honored with seven first place awards from the Indiana Associated Press, including Best Newscast and Best Continuing Coverage.More >>
  • Pacers Fans leave with minutes still left in the game, disappointed by loss

    Pacers Fans leave with minutes still left in the game, disappointed by loss

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:16:57 GMT
    All of the Pacers' fans were decked out in their blue and gold Saturday night. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, though, fans were singing a different tune. Many left early - even some season ticket holders.More >>
    All of the Pacers' fans were decked out in their blue and gold Saturday night. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, though, fans were singing a different tune. Many left early - even some season ticket holders.More >>
WEST LAFAYETTE -

In a plane crash the black box helps solve puzzles, but what about in your car?

"They're not black," said an automotive engineer.

"They can learn how fast the car was going, they can learn whether the brakes are on or whether the ABS unit was on," said Dr. Mark French with the Purdue College of Technology.

All that information can be gathered from the event data recorder (EDR), which is already in most new cars. Starting in Fall 2014, the government wants the EDR in all new vehicles.

"The more information you have about an accident, the more likely you are to be able to design against problems in the future," French said.

The former flight and auto engineer says EDRs only store that data from a few seconds before a crash until one second after.

"All you do is grab a little handheld box and go up and plug it in," French said.

Just that quickly, investigators download your data.

"You have to depend on them using that information correctly," said Dr. Eugene Spafford, a cyber-security expert at Purdue.

Spafford says the law lags behind on technology, leaving big questions.

"About how much of this information would have to be covered by a warrant if it was to be collected by law enforcement and if you're in a private situation, when your insurance company requires you to surrender it to them to process a claim," he said. "You may have no ability to shield any of the information."

Only 13 states have laws on black box court orders or whether insurance companies can deny claims if you don't give up data. Indiana is not one of them.

And if EDRs one day include GPS, privacy could be tougher to protect.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Friends, colleagues remember life of slain IMPD officer

    Friends, colleagues remember life of slain IMPD officer

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-19 16:34:23 GMT
    Picture provided by familyPicture provided by family
    The influence of an IMPD officer killed by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide went far beyond the police department. Neighbors and those who worked with Ofc. Kimberlee Carmack are still trying to understandMore >>
    The influence of an IMPD officer killed by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide went far beyond the police department.More >>
  • Franklin mom visited by phony CPS workers

    Franklin mom visited by phony CPS workers

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:11:37 GMT
    A Franklin woman is warning other mothers after she says two people came to her house and threatened to take her children.More >>
    A Franklin woman is warning other mothers after she says two people came to her house and threatened to take her children.More >>
  • Murder-suicide tragedy rare, but followed pattern

    Murder-suicide tragedy rare, but followed pattern

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:49:46 GMT
    The domestic violence case that ended in the murder-suicide of two IMPD officers reveals a serious danger for police officers that goes far beyond the risks they face each day in the line of duty.More >>
    The domestic violence case that ended in the murder-suicide of two IMPD officers reveals a serious danger for police officers that goes far beyond the risks they face each day in the line of duty.More >>
Powered by WorldNow