EDR Explained

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CDR is the Acronym for “Crash Data Retrieval”

Crash Data Retrieval is a term used by those who use specialized equipment to "retrieve" the vehicle's EDR (event data recorder) data. This EDR data is also referred to as "crash data". CDR technicians and experts connect their EDR tool to an automobile allowing them to communicate with the vehicle and retrieve the EDR data file. Specialized software is then used to translate the EDR data file to a readable format for review and analysis.

CDR is also used in the name of the Bosch CDR Tool and the Bosch CDR Software. Other EDR Tool makers like GIT and Tesla, simply call their tool an "EDR Tool". These specialized tools are made up of hardware and software which provides the ability to “image”, “download”, or “retrieve” EDR data that may be stored in the control modules of passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs. The software component is a single, stand alone program designed to run in a Windows environment. The hardware part of the EDR Tool is a collection of components including interface modules (VCI), cables and adapters which, with proper training and minimal difficulty, are used to “retrieve” data from supported vehicles.

Crash Data Retrieval:

  • CDR is an acronym for Crash Data Retrieval
  • CDR is an acronym used to name the Bosch CDR Tool and Software
  • is a process of retrieving EDR data from a vehicle
  • the process of retrieving EDR data DOES NOT  "reset”, “remove”, or “modify” data stored in the EDR

EDR is the Acronym for “Event Data Recorder”

An Event Data Recorder (EDR) is a function or device installed in a motor vehicle to record technical vehicle and occupant information for a very brief period of time before, during, and after a crash solely for the purpose of monitoring and assessing vehicle safety system performance.

After a vehicle module’s primary functions are complete, and where appropriate thresholds are met, data may be recorded as part of the “Event Data Recorder” (EDR) functionality or capability. An “EDR” is not a stand alone device and the data may not always be recorded.

EDRs may record:

  • information, but only after some physical event like a crash
  • vehicle dynamics information and system status for about 5 seconds before a crash
  • certain driver inputs for about 5 seconds before a crash
  • vehicle crash severity signature
  • restraint use and deployment related information
  • post-crash data such as the activation of an automatic collision notification (ACN) system

Imaging (Downloading) Crash Data

In the context of EDR Tool technology, the word “image” is used to describe the process of saving a digital copy of the EDR data / crash data which may be recorded in a supported vehicle to the person’s computer. Think of it being similar to a photographic image. When you take a picture of a vehicle, you are not physically changing or taking anything away from that vehicle, just getting an “image.”  That vehicle is in the same condition as it was before the photograph. The EDR Tools simply retrieve an “image” of the crash data which may be in that vehicle and copies that data – as an “image” – to your computer in a secure digital file.

EDR data (crash data) is currently used by law enforcement, private accident reconstructionists, auto manufacturers, auto insurance companies, fleet management and government researchers to assist in accurately evaluating crashes involving passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs. By retrieving and reviewing the crash data stored in these vehicle, potential fault, fraud, liability, witness accounts and other evidence can be more effectively evaluated.

The use of EDR data in civil and criminal court cases is on the rise as the data has become more accepted as a source of reliable, empirical evidence. There have been a number of trial cases in the United Stated as well as internationally involving EDRs. Drivers have been both convicted and exonerated as a direct result of EDR evidence and thorough crash investigations.


Driver Privacy Act of 2015

  • Declares that any data in an event data recorder required to be installed in a passenger motor vehicle is the property of the owner or lessee of the vehicle in which the recorder is installed, regardless of when the vehicle was manufactured.
  • Prohibits a person, other than the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle, from accessing data recorded or transmitted by such a recorder unless:
  • a court or other judicial or administrative authority authorizes the retrieval of such data subject to admissibility of evidence standards;
  • an owner or lessee consents to such retrieval for any purpose, including vehicle diagnosis, service, or repair; the data is retrieved pursuant to certain authorized investigations or inspections of the National Transportation Safety Board or DOT;
  • the data is retrieved to determine the appropriate emergency medical response to a motor vehicle crash;
  • or the data is retrieved for traffic safety research, and the owner’s or lessee’s personally identifiable information and the vehicle identification number are not disclosed.
  • Directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after completing a study and submitting a report to Congress, to promulgate regulations concerning the amount of time event data recorders installed in passenger motor vehicles may capture and record vehicle-related data to provide accident investigators with pertinent crash-related information.

Regulation: CFR Part 563

The Bosch CDR Tool purpose is to “image” EDR data that may exist in certain passenger vehicles, light trucks and SUVs. The Bosch CDR Tool is not regulated; however, the data that is retrieved by the Bosch CDR Tool is. Bosch Automotive Service Solutions is the manufacturer of the Bosch CDR Tool and the developer of the CDR Software. Bosch is in contract and relies on the information provided by various automobile manufacturers to accurately retrieve the EDR data that may be recorded in supported vehicles.

In August 2006, a federal regulation established requirements for data elements, data capture and format, data retrieval, and data crash survivability for event data recorders (EDRs) installed in light vehicles. The requirements apply to light vehicles that are manufactured on or after September 1, 2012, and are equipped with EDRs. However, the regulation does not mandate the installation of EDRs in those vehicles.

Download CFR Part 563 Document

Privacy of Data from EDR: State Statues

View NCSL Web Page for complete information

Event data recorders (EDRs), also known as “black boxes” or “sensing and diagnostic modules,” capture information, such as the speed of a vehicle and the use of a safety belt, in the event of a collision to help understand how the vehicle’s systems performed. Most car manufacturers currently install these devices in new vehicles.

Seventeen states have enacted statutes relating to event data recorders and privacy. Among other provisions, these states provide that data collected from a motor vehicle event data recorder may only be downloaded with the consent of the vehicle owner or policyholder, with certain exceptions.

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington