The Accuracy of General Motors Event Data Recorders in NHTSA Crash Tests

Few published studies have evaluated the accuracy of the speed change recorded by General Motors (GM) sensing and diagnostic modules (SDM) in collisions severe enough to require airbag deployment. In the current study, 23 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests of 2000 to 2005 GM vehicles were evaluated to quantify the accuracy of SDM recorded speed change in deployment events. The maximum SDM recorded speed change was compared to the data recorded by onboard accelerometers during the test. The findings provide a set of speed change accuracy data for higher severity collisions and give a better understanding of the parameters that can affect accuracy. Results showed that in the majority of the vehicle-to-barrier tests, the SDM recorded speed change underestimated the accelerometer speed change with a maximum underestimate of 9 km/h. The underestimate was about 11 km/h in one long duration vehicle-to-vehicle collision. In a few of the crash tests, the SDM recorded speed change slightly overestimated the accelerometer speed change by a maximum of 2 km/h. In non-deployment events, the algorithm-enabled acceleration threshold has been shown to have a significant effect on the accuracy of the SDM recorded speed change. Evaluation of deployment events found that there is a much smaller effect due to the initial acceleration threshold. In some of the high severity tests, the duration of the collision was greater than the maximum recorded time of the SDM, but there was no clear trend between speed change accuracy and collision duration.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Wilkinson, Craig C
    • Lawrence, Jonathan M
    • King, David J
  • Publication Date: 2007


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01055233
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 19 2007 12:21AM