Black box data recorders set to become mandatory equipment on new cars

New measures "will save lives"

ALL NEW cars may be required to be fitted with a ‘black box’ data recorder, as part of European Union measures to improve road safety levels across the bloc.

The draft legislation, which is subject to change in upcoming negotiations, says all new cars sold in the member states will need to be fitted with a black box that can log information on the vehicle’s speed and “other relevant input parameters”.

It’s intended the black boxes will be able to store data from “before, during and after a triggering event” such as the deployment of an airbag. In the ruling’s current wording, this information can only be used in the analysis of accident data and to “assess the effectiveness of specific [safety] measures”.

Though vans, MPVs and SUVs will be exempt from having a black box due to their height and “vehicle mass characteristics”, they will be required to come with additional safety tech. In the draft text, all motor vehicles must be fitted with tyre pressure and driver drowsiness monitoring systems, as well as an “intelligent speed assistance system” to help drivers adhere to the “appropriate speed for the road environment”.

It’s unknown when the black box rulings will become EU law, though the European Council has said it aims to reach a “rapid agreement” with the European Parliament in upcoming negotiations.

Norbert Hofer, the Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Technology, said: “We must never let up in our efforts to make our roads safer for everyone. These new rules, which reflect the latest technical developments, will protect and help save lives.”