Group to draft ‘black box’ standards

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For more than a decade, many federal agencies have researched the use of motor vehicle event data recorders (MVEDR) or “black boxes” for all types of on-highway vehicles. Until now, however, there has been little work in developing a universal performance standard.

The Institute of Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA), a globally recognized standards-setting body, began a new project, IEEE P1616 “Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorders,” to bring together industry and government experts to formulate a minimum performance protocol for the use of onboard tamper and crash-proof memory devices.

The MVEDR standard will define what data should be captured, including date, time, location, velocity, heading, number of occupants and seat belt usage. It will also define how that information should be obtained, recorded and transmitted.

“The more accurate the data we gather on highway crashes, the better chance we have to reduce the devastating effects of crashes,” says Jim Hall, co-chair of the IEEE P1616 Working Group and former head of the National Transportation Safety Board.