Black Boxes for cars - Altea Ego
Under a new technology initiative supported by the Irish government, thousands of cars in Ireland are soon to be fitted with 'black boxes', to answer Ireland's call for a comprehensive, telematics-based, automobile-crash information network. The network will improve road safety, speed emergency response, fight fraud and reduce the cost of automobile insurance through the use of customized, in-vehicle data recorders commonly known as "black boxes" in the aerospace industry.

The data recorders will do two things. Firstly they will flash both the location and severity of the crash to emergency service providers allowing emergency services depending on the type of crash to dispatch the most appropriate expertise and help to the scene of the accident. Secondly, the boxes will provide accurate and objective information about the crashes themselves data that will effectively fill a knowledge void unaddressed in Europe until now by traditional crash investigation techniques. Public agencies, investigators, policy makers and ultimately the travelling public will benefit from access to this more timely and accurate crash data.
Black Boxes for cars - pdc {P}
Sounds like a good idea all around, in principle.
Black Boxes for cars - billy25
my uncle has used these, in connection with crashes for years now,................he's an undertaker!! :-(
Black Boxes for cars - Aprilia
There is talk of these being made mandatory in certain states in the US (in fact it may already have happened).

About 10 years ago I designed a 'black box' for use by TRRL (now TRL) - it mounted in the boot and used a small accelerometer to measure longitudinal-g (i.e. braking/accelerating). The unit had memory and a facility to connect to a PC and download a listing of the day's/week's braking events.
The purpose was to see if route guidance software increase the number of hard braking events (above about 0.7g) and therefore might be dangerous; i.e. delivery driver simply listens to the 'voice' and stamps on brakes when instructed to turn etc. I think they had 200 made in the end, and fitted some to vehicles with nav aid and some to vehicles without.
I never got to find out the conclusion of the trial, but thought it was an interesting experiment. I don't know if it was ever publicised/published. Must have been around 1992-3.
Black Boxes for cars - martint123
I think some airbag controllers hold this information. There was an Anerican case of a driver being done after the data was retrieved and indicated he was going a lot faster just before an accident than was wise or legal.
Black Boxes for cars - Andrew-T
Is the contraption clever enough to distinguish the incidents needing emergency services accurately? The E/S wouldn't like the idea of automatically generated hoax calls.
Black Boxes for cars - Ivor E Tower
There are already a number of crash sensors that can be linked in to call the emergency services. Yes, it is definitely possible for them to distinguish between an accident (severe deceleration of the car - at least 8g) and another type of shock being transmitted to the vehicle.
As for black boxes, there is an insurance company (or probably a consortium) investigating their mass production to register approx the last 30 seconds of data before an impact, similar to aircraft black boxes. Accelerometers may not be fitted - they may use a signal from a crash sensor to tell them when to stop over-writing data because an accident has occurred. Oh, and umlike aircraft black boxes, certainly the initial devices being looked into will not be recording things like were the indicators on, lights on etc etc.
Black Boxes for cars - volvod5_dude
According to my local Volvo service manager Black boxes are already fitted to Volvos. They record data such as, speed, braking/ABS function, airbag deployment, engine data ie, oil, water temp and other stuff I can't remember. This data can also be used by Volvo to check the validity of certain warranty claims. The Police or insurance company can have access to the data for accident investigation purposes I believe.

So, would they need a warrant or a court order to obtain the data as surely the data would belong to the registered keeper?

Value my car