Assessment of Heavy Vehicle EDR Technologies 2013-01-2402
Heavy-vehicle event data recorders (HVEDRs) provide a source of temporal vehicle data just prior to, during, and for a short period after, an event. In the 1990s, heavy-vehicle (HV) engine manufacturers expanded the capabilities of engine control units (ECU) and engine control modules (ECM) to include the ability to record and store small amounts of parametric vehicle data. This advanced capability has had a significant impact on vehicle safety by helping law enforcement, engineers, and researchers reconstruct events of a vehicle crash and understand the details surrounding that vehicle crash. Today, EDR technologies have been incorporated into a wide range of heavy vehicle (HV) safety systems (e.g., crash mitigation systems, air bag control systems, and behavioral monitoring systems). However, the adoption of EDR technologies has not been uniform across all classes of HVs or their associated vehicle systems. The objective of this research was to assess the current capabilities of HVEDRs and to evaluate the feasibility of installing HVEDRs or related technologies on the HV fleet with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds). Based on the findings of this report, the feasibility of HVEDRs in HVs does not lie in the concept of recording event-based data or in the technology's capabilities but in the implementation of the technology. There are several implementation challenges revealed by this report; namely, standardization of data elements recorded, standardization of data retrieval tools, and the unique HV characteristics such as mass and vocation differences.