As part of a new regulation on road safety and the protection of road users, the members of the European Union adopted a text in 2019 (EU 2019/2144). It stipulates that for every new homologation of a car, utility vehicle, truck or bus, a black box had to be installed by the manufacturer at the time of its manufacture. This regulation will become mandatory from 6 July. This only concerns new homologations, not cars already on the market.
A box for safety
The black box is an on-board device that has access to data from sensitive components such as braking, steering, accelerator etc. The system will record the speed, the acceleration or braking phases, whether the seat belt is on or not, use of turn signals, impact force, engine speed and the vehicle’s slope.
The stored data relates to the 30 seconds before an accident and 10 seconds after. The goal is to understand the circumstances of an accident; the data will be analyzed by research institutes.
Black boxes, for which vehicles?
The installation of boxes by the manufacturers will take place in two stages. From July 6 for new approvals; for example, the future 408 will be mandatorily equipped with it because it is homologated after July 6.
For a vehicle already on sale, for example the Dacia Jogger, the installation of the black box will be mandatory on new vehicles from July 6, 2024. As for used cars and cars already in circulation, there nothing planned. no retrofitting.
And the insurance companies?
If manufacturers are likely to pass on the cost of this black box in their prices, insurers are not required to play the game by lowering their prices. Which would increase between 0.5 and 1% in 2022. On the other hand, they will not have direct access to the data, only law enforcement officers and research institutes will have access to it in case of lawsuits after an accident.
This European black box has nothing to do with the devices installed at the request of insurance companies such as “Pay as you drive”, which analyze your driving in real time and reflect your good (or bad) results on your premium.
Some form of accountability?
The influence that this black box would have on driving is clearly desired by some insurance companies, who imagine the electronic chip as an additional cookie, of the type that has been fitted to American cars since 2015.
Other new features will also be mandatorily installed in our cars this summer: intelligent regulator, an interface that allows the installation of an alco-ignition lock, drowsiness warning systems, loss of attention, stop signals in emergency situations, hill detection and an accurate tire pressure monitoring system.