Car black box in Spain mandatory from July

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car black box

MADRID – From July 6, all new passenger cars in Spain must have a “black box”. This records the most relevant information in the event of an accident, as is also the case with aircraft. The “black box” will be mandatory in all new cars.

The black box or EDR in English (Endpoint Detection and Response), according to insurance comparator acierto.com, can directly affect the level of insurance premiums if insurers have access to this data.

How does the black box work?

The black box for passenger cars stores data for the 30 seconds before and the five seconds after an accident. This information can be analysed retrospectively to determine the causes of the claim. Of course, the information collected will be anonymous a priori, as personal data such as the name, age, or gender of the driver will not be recorded.

However, the car’s black box registers the vehicle’s speed, braking, engine speed, the force of the frontal and side-impact, the steering movements, and the position of the accelerator. It will also record the operation of safety systems such as airbags, seat belts, and driver assistants. In addition, it will take into account chronological parameters, such as the time and date of the accident.

Devices can prevent many deaths and injuries

In addition to determining the causes of accidents, EDRs will also serve to establish injury thresholds, reconstruct accidents, or prepare road safety programs. According to the European Parliament, these devices will prevent up to 25,000 deaths and more than 140,000 injuries.

Influence of black box on insurance prices?

Acierto.com confirms that answering this question is not easy. Insurers determine their policy prices based on, among other things, statistical data. Younger drivers, for example, have more serious accidents, which often makes their insurance more expensive.

Data protection

It is also not yet clear whether insurers will have access to the data from the black box. The European Union even wants only the authorities to see them. According to Acierto.com, a recent ruling in Germany allowed insurers to access the data. The judge ruled it was essential for assessing the cause of the traffic accident.

nederlandse orthopeed

Acierto.com confirms that once insurers finally have access to the data from the black box, those adhering to the rules will not initially experience an increase or decrease in their insurance. The situation is different for insured persons who do not drive like motorists with a comparable profile.

The black boxes do not record any further data on the driver’s gender or age. Nevertheless, there is usually only one regular and registered driver who is also the policyholder. This means the insurer does not have to dig far to obtain more information.

According to Acierto.com, there are already some contract forms that allow the insured to pay based on the way he drives. An example is ‘Pay As You Drive’.

Background

In 2019, the European Commission approved a regulation that will require new safety measures in motor vehicles. Starting July 2022,  these include the installation of so-called “Event Data Recorders”. A device similar to “black boxes” in aircraft.

On 14 April 2021, the law European Regulation 2019/2144, established standards for the approval of motor vehicles by Member State national authorities. Pursuant to this Regulation, all new light vehicles in the European Union will have to be equipped with a black box by July 2022. 

So far, European governments do not allow the use of collected data as means to establish evidence of liability in automotive accidents.

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