What is a vehicle black box?

A vehicle black box, also known as an event data recorder (EDR) or an automotive black box, is a fixed electronic device mounted inside a vehicle that records data related to a vehicle’s performance, such as speed, acceleration, braking, steering angle, and location. This data can help to establish a timeline of events leading up to the accident and can be used to prove that one driver was negligent or careless while behind the wheel. Additionally, the data can be used to determine if a vehicle is malfunctioning or if a part needs to be replaced. The data is stored in the vehicle’s computer, and can be accessed and analysed to help determine the cause of a crash or accident. In the United States, most new cars sold since the mid-2000s contain an EDR. Black boxes are a well established device category that is generally both tamper-proof and cost-effective.

The major providers of vehicle black boxes include Bosch, Continental, Delphi, Denso, Lear, and Takata.

In 2020, the cost of a black box was around €30-60 depending on features and is expected to continue to slowly decrease in the coming years. Black boxes have been a widespread solution in countries such as Italy, Spain, the UK and South Africa, particularly to solve theft and fraud issues.

To learn more about vehicle data and its many applications, review our various in-depth market research reports on vehicle data and connected cars