New cars now have to be equipped with a black box

New cars now have to be equipped with a black box
Credit: Belga.

As announced in May, new car models will be required to have a black box fitted as of Wednesday.

This black box, known as the 'Event Data Recorder' is currently equipped in most new vehicles. Not only does it record the car's speed but also whether the driver braked, swerved, or if the airbag was deployed. The data provided, however, has rarely been used and car manufacturers do not always grant access to it.

Now, on July 6, European regulations will change to make information readily available to courts in the event of major accidents, with this obligation to be extended to all new cars in 2024.

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All of this data will allow courts to reconstruct a crash that occurred in a serious accident, the Vias Institute told Belga News Agency on Tuesday. "In this way, a judge can effectively verify whether the claims of the parties involved are well-founded in the event of a dispute," they added. 

The device in cars, unlike the black box in aircraft, does not record voices. Insurance companies cannot, in theory, request data from the black box.

This is not the only change that will affect new car models; the Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), which detects the speed limit and slows the vehicle to comply with it, will also become mandatory. Drivers are free to switch off the system, but it will automatically restart the next time the vehicle is switched on.

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