It has been used on airplanes for a few decades, but soon the so-called “Black Box” will become a mandatory equipment for every new car: it is a device capable of recording certain vehicle parameters – speed, braking, position and inclination of the car, state and frequency of activation of the safety systems – in the period immediately before and after a road accident. Data that could be useful in judicial and insurance matters.
Next to the black box (which cannot be deactivated and protected from possible tampering) there will also be the intelligent speed adaptation system and “Alcolock”, the device that prevents the car from starting if the driver has an illegal alcohol level. These technologies will be present on newly homologated cars as early as July 6, becoming mandatory for all newly registered cars from July 7, 2024. This is established by a European standard.
Driver privacy violated with the Black Box, then? No, because the on-board recorder will not be able to record and store data or information that can make it possible to identify the individual vehicle, the owner or owner of the car. If anything, the data may “be made available to national authorities only for the purposes of research and analysis in relation to the accident”.
Intelligent speed assistance, on the other hand, will help the driver to maintain the speed limits set by the regulations and relating to the road section he is traveling on, warning him in case of exceeding. This technology will exploit GPS, data coming from the same road infrastructure as well as the electronic eyes of the on-board camera. Unlike the Black Box, however, the device can be deactivated by the driver.
Finally, the alcoholock which, using sensors present in the passenger compartment, will block the starting of the engine if the driver has a higher alcohol level than allowed. The rule states that new cars sold after 7 July 2024 must be prepared for the after-sales installation of the alcoholock.