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Old 03-02-2005, 12:33 AM   #1
05titaniumgray4dr
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

New to the forum, but tried a search and didn't come up with anything.

Anyone else noticed this tidbit on the first page of their manual before the Table of Contents???? Kinda Scary!

Event Data Recorder
This vehicle is equipped with and event data recorder. In the event of a crash, this device records data related to vehicle dynamics and safety systems for a short period of time. These data can help provide a better understanding of the circumstances in which crashes and injuries occur and lead to the designing of safer vehicles.

Now 1. Don't they have plenty of R&D guys crashing tons of perfectly good cars to gets this info.
2.I don't remember signing up to be a test dummy
3.I think this has big brother written all over it. Do you suppose info such as speed, braking force, lateral g's are the "vehicle dynamics" they speak of? I can't remember the name of them, but it sounds like those systems anal parents put in their kids cars to see where they go, if they wear their seat belt, how hard they brake, how fast they take turns, etc.
4.There is no explicit statement saying that this info can't be used against us, they say its just for safety research, but it would be an understatement to say that i'm skeptical.

Anyone else seen this!! wtf! I just got my '05, is it new for '05???
scary stuff
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:38 AM   #2
Oricle
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

the black box is common on modern cars, and yes they can be used aginst you in court if you are in an accident, and possibly to void your warrenty.
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:39 AM   #3
05titaniumgray4dr
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

anyone have any info on this recorder. what it actually records, for how long, where that info goes. or how about where the recorder is located so i can rip the f&^%$r out of my d@#n car
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:42 AM   #4
3AndMe
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

A member on this forum, MaxKlinger, did a school project about these vehicle data recorders. Maybe if he sees this he'll be so kind as to share?
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:56 AM   #5
MaxKlinger
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

Yeah ethics debate for engineers. Fun fun fun (not). Made it interesting though.

Anyway I don't have my research with me but I remember a few things.

General Motors was I believe the first to institute this on all its vehicles, starting in the mid 1990's. It evolved out of the computer that runs the airbag system. Most of them are just airbag computers that "remember" the last 5 seconds of data before a crash. Systems vary by make and model, but they data they remember often includes but is not limited to:

-Vehicle velocity
-Throttle position
-Engine RPM
-Whether or not your seatbelts are buckled
-Brake application


There are many other parameters that many of these "black boxes" will store data about.

The idea was to use the data collected after a crash for engineers to analyize and use to improve the safety of their vehicle designs. However, law enforcement got involved and it is becoming a tool used in prosecuting insurance cases and in traffic court. Many believe this is a "big brother" tactic and that this is a violation of privacy. The debate centers around the owner of the information...the police, the manufacturer, the insurance company, or the vehicle owner/lessee. Personally I believe that the vehicle owner should own the data, but there are some who argue otherwise. The data is unretrievable without special interfaces controlled by the manufacturers and the police.

05titaniumgray4dr, I agree that I wouldnt' want this in my car and would try to disable it if possible. However as it's an integral part of the airbag system, it's not very likely that you'd be able to do so without putting youself at a serious risk for injury if you were in an accident - and it might void your warranty.

Luckily, my car does not have such a recorder.

I'll add more info if I can find my research and stuff...
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:59 AM   #6
mnemonicj
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

The stuff I test at work records most of the data that your car would store. The data recording was originally done to avoid lawsuits through people that want to blame anyone but themselves. The units that I know that record data are the airbag controller and the passenger occupant detection unit.

Supposedly, this has already been useful for one manufacturer. During a test drive of a new luxury vehicle a reporter was riding as a passenger to see the new passenger sensing technology. The test drive was on a course that was supposed to be closed. The reporter was getting up off of the seat to see if the status of the occupant would change. When a car pulled out in front of them they got into an accident and the airbag didn't go off. Of course the reporter wanted to know why and might have had grounds for a lawsuit if the data wasn't recorded.

The units are always recording data. When an "event" occurs they write the previous 5 seconds of data to flash memory. It is encrypted and the manufacturer can tell if it has been tampered with.

There are still debates on whether this data can be used against the owner of the vehicle. That is almost like a person testifying against himself (or herself).

EDIT: I guess MaxKlinger and I were writing almost the same stuff at the same time. MaxKlinger, the newer version of your car has an event recorder in it.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:05 PM   #7
Viking
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

It has its uses, I read of an instance where a car was backing out of a driveway and was t-boned by a car moving quickly, two people in the car backing out of the driveway were killed. Usually, the person backing out of the driveway would be at fault, especially since they were the only witness's (and now dead).

However, the data recorder showed the driver of the car that hit them had been driving at about 100 or so mph in a much slower zone just a 1 second before, and at impact he was still driving well over the speed limit. If you speed, you do forfeit your right-of-way (if it can be proven), since the black box was in his car he was charged with homicide and sent to jail as he should have been.

I think they are OK in this situation, but if they were used to give you citations for speeding, it is totally inappropriate. I like the idea that police would have to get a warrant to get the information.

Being a good driver, I like having one in my car, remember it can be used in your defense as well. If someone said I was speeding, I could use it to back me up showing that I was not speeding.

I speed on occasion, but I know that if I cause an accident because of excessive speed I should be held accountable. The problem with too many people is they try to put blame on someone else, "It was the car manufactures Fault", "It is the cigarette makers fault", they won't place the blame on themselves. i.e. with the Ford/Firestone tire problem, most of the accidents were caused by excessive speed, overloaded vehicles, underinflated tires, and poor driver ability, not bad tires/poor designed vehicle. People need to know how to handle their vehicle in the event of a blowout. Also, a data recorder could have been used to show whether or not the people were speeding before the crash, etc.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:14 PM   #8
3AndMe
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

When I was buying my 3, I was presented with an additional key fob that I wasn't familiar with. It was the passive anti-theft system. As I was thinking about all these electronic systems installed on the car and remembering MaxKlinger's presentation about data recorders in class, I got curious. I asked the salesperson if they could remotely shut-down my car while I was driving (via satellite, or something). I was expecting him to say "no", but he shocked me with a "yes"....

Is it true, or was the salesman just pulling an answer out of his a$$ to impress me with? I'm reluctant to believe him because he didn't elaborate. He just left it at "yes" and changed the topic.

Can our 3's be shut down by the police (or the company that makes the anti-theft system) while they are running??
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:27 PM   #9
mnemonicj
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

Quote:
Originally Posted by "3AndMe"
When I was buying my 3, I was presented with an additional key fob that I wasn't familiar with. It was the passive anti-theft system. As I was thinking about all these electronic systems installed on the car and remembering MaxKlinger's presentation about data recorders in class, I got curious. I asked the salesperson if they could remotely shut-down my car while I was driving (via satellite, or something). I was expecting him to say "no", but he shocked me with a "yes"....

Is it true, or was the salesman just pulling an answer out of his a$$ to impress me with? I'm reluctant to believe him because he didn't elaborate. He just left it at "yes" and changed the topic.

Can our 3's be shut down by the police (or the company that makes the anti-theft system) while they are running??
If this is a keyfob that is supposed to be able to disable the vehicle I would assume that it would have no greater range than the normal keyfob. With my keyfob I have to be within 200ft of the vehicle to use it. I can't imagine that the police would have a keyfob for every Mazda3 and if it was generally for mazda vehicles and they sent the signal, any other Mazda in the area would be disabled too.

If the police or Mazda can disable our vehicles, they would do it by a satellite signal. I work with the largest automotive supplier in the world and the only thing that I have seen that resembles this in the OEM market is OnStar. I know the Mazda3 doesn't have OnStar so I think I'm safe.
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:30 PM   #10
3AndMe
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Default Event Data Recorder i.e. BigBrother??

Quote:
Originally Posted by "mnemonicj"
If this is a keyfob that is supposed to be able to disable the vehicle I would assume that it would have no greater range than the normal keyfob. With my keyfob I have to be within 200ft of the vehicle to use it. I can't imagine that the police would have a keyfob for every Mazda3 and if it was generally for mazda vehicles and they sent the signal, any other Mazda in the area would be disabled too.
I know. What I was saying is that I got thinking about it as the salesperson was installing the keyfob on my keychain. I know the only point of the fob is to relay an ID to the passive anti-theft system to start the car. But, as I was thinking about all the electrical stuff on the car, I got curious if any of those systems provided the authorities a way to remotely shutdown my car.

If OnStar is the only means of doing that, then I'm happy. I just wish the salesperson would have said "I don't know" or "no" instead of a confident "yes".
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