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car black Box

Black Box, ECM, ECU, EDR, DDEC, Download & Analysis.


Black Box: A generic term for the following devices:

ECM: Engine Control Module or Electronic Control Module.

ECU: Engine Control Unit or Electronic Control Unit.
Used somewhat interchangeably, these modules were developed in modern commercial vehicles and diesel trucks. Frequently, these devices record information about engine or drive train problems. They can be as simple as 'low fluid’ in the radiator reservoir or other engine problems to hard stops and impacts. These devices are generally a computer embedded into the vehicle to control all or part of the electrical systems in the vehicle. These devices may control things such as fuel injection, maximum speed ( governor ) lighting or a host of other electronic systems. These devices may also manage the engines operation.

EDR: Event Data Recorder or Electronic Data Recorder.
Generally installed in passenger vehicles they are related to the development of the restraint control module for tracking the deployment of passenger airbags. These devices began recording basic information such as speed, whether the acceleration pedal and/or brake pedal was depressed (clutch if it was a manual), and location of the crash on the car (front, side, or back). Since then, cars have become more complicated with all manner of computers and sensors throughout the vehicle, which has required the expansion of what EDRs can record. These devices continuously record information related to the airbag system, including the airbag sensors, antilock brake sensors and more. At or about impact, when the airbags are deployed, the EDR freezes the information that it has in memory, usually for several seconds prior to the crash and several seconds after the crash. This information can then be downloaded using the appropriate computer equipment.

DDEC: Detroit Diesel Electronic Control.
These sophisticated onboard computer systems record a wide variety of information about the goings on with Detroit Diesel engines. Including: performance, efficiency, idle shutdown, Trip activity, Speed vs. RPM, Engine load vs. RPM, Daily engine usage, Hard Stop information, hard braking events and more.

Information from these devices can be downloaded after a crash or incident and analyzed to assist in determining the status of the vehicles just before, during and just after an accident or event. Each make and model of these devices collects a different type and amount of information.

See a sample download from a vehicle here.

Evidence Solutions - Heavy Truck Division can download and analyze most Black Boxes. After the download is complete, we can analyze and explain the information collected in PLAIN English.

Evidence in PLAIN English.

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