The Accuracy of Pre-Crash Speed Captured by Event Data Recorders 2003-01-0889
Most 1999 and newer General Motors (GM) vehicles have an event data recorder (EDR) that can record pre-crash speed incorporated into the airbag sensing and diagnostic module (SDM). The accuracy of the SDM-reported pre-crash speed over a wide range of speeds has not been previously tested and reported. In this study, the SDMs of three late-model GM passenger cars were artificially triggered while driving at a constant speed between 1 and 150 km/h. The SDM-reported pre-crash speeds were compared to speeds measured by a calibrated 5th-wheel of known accuracy. The results showed that the accuracy of the SDM-reported pre-crash speed varied with both speed and vehicle. The overall uncertainty associated with all three SDMs tested varied from a 1.5 km/h overestimation of vehicle speed at low speeds to a 3.7 km/h underestimation of vehicle speed at high speeds. Within the limits of this study, these results can be used to quantify the accuracy of SDM-reported pre-crash speed for use in engineering analyses of automobile crashes.