The benefit of retrieving data from flight data recorder using the Black Box was only available to airlines for many years. This invaluable instrument, which helps determine what happened in the critical time before a crash, is now available as Airbag SDM crash data retrieval system on GM cars.
In response to the call of the National Transport and Safety Board (NTSB) in 1997 that vehicle manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration team up to gather information on vehicle crashes using on board collision sensing and recording devices, General Motors expanded the data downloaded to permanent memory in the air bag sensing and diagnostic module at deployment or in a near deployment collision.
The capability to record pre-crash data has since expanded with time and technological advancement. General Motor's Vetronix crash data retrieval tool (CDR) collects vehicle crash data via the air bag system SDM.
General motors together with Vetronix Corporation developed the Vetronix CDR System, which downloads the data stored in recordable airbag modules.
Software, hardware and interface cables allow recorded data such as Delta V, driver seat belt usage and pre-impact data to be downloaded to commonly used computers in easy to read format. Interface cables that connect directly to the airbag module are available for vehicles that cannot be powered up after a crash.
This new technology then also makes it easy for investigators to input other vital information, like weather conditions, and send the data to a remote database. The final 5 seconds leading up to an accident event is very vital information that can be stored at the airbag SDM module recorder. This process can only be done using the Vetronix CDR equipment and a PC.
Includes most 1994 and newer Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Cadillac, GM trucks, Saturn, and Hummer vehicles have GM airbag SDM recorded data coverage.
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About the author:
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.