Collection of Electronic Data

Modern vehicles are regulated by a multiplicity of electronic systems which in case of an accident can also intervene. In order to objectively describe accidents with these vehicles, the VUFO has retrieved electronic data of vehicles involved in accidents and evaluated the data gathered in the scope of collision reconstruction since 2017.

The VUFO has examined different research projects in regard to the use and potential means of collecting data on digital skid marks. Testing equipment owned by a manufacturer or testing equipment which is owned by other manufacturers and the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval device were tested.

The focus was on:

  • Error codes (errors that the vehicle diagnoses and archives itself due to the impact of the collision), so-called environmental data (e.g. vehicle speed, system activations);
  • Existing data in the equipment of the vehicle;
  • Record of the Event Data Recorder (an accident recorder that records different status values of the vehicle of up to 5 sec. before the accident happens).

Our finding: The combination of all methods provides the best results and, thus, the collision data can be analysed in a more precise way in regard to quality.

Retrieval of electronic data on the vehicle

What are we working on at the moment?

The VUFO integrates the collection of electronic data in our collision research and consistently examine all vehicles which provide a high probability in which electronic vehicle data will be successfully retrieved. For the evaluation of this criterion, the type of the crash (activation of a passive safety system), the car model and the age of the car will be included in our collision research.

Since 2019 different manufacturers have opened their interfaces to the EDR (Event Data Recorder) of the vehicle. To optimise the chances of success, the VUFO are currently only simulating vehicle collisions in which an expected existing EDR record will be expected considering the German data protection specifications. We use the Bosch CDR device in its latest generation from 2021 and a vehicle diagnostic test device made by Autel (Autel MaxiSys 906).

Bosch CDR (left) and Autel MaxiSys 906 (right)

In the future, electronic vehicle data must also be related to the event of the accident. The accident reconstruction expert or accident expert will also be indispensable when investigating the sequence of events during road accidents even if the expert can increasingly expect to be supported by means of information resulting from electronic vehicle data.

What do we offer you?

The VUFO consistently enhances its activities to secure electronic data. We accumulate a rich treasure trove of experience in regard to collecting electronic vehicle data. Upon request, we will retrieve your vehicle’s event data recorder.

In addition to the collection of electronic skid marks, we offer support to help you analyse and interpret your electronic vehicle data.

Do not hesitate to contact us! We will find a suitable answer to your question.


We are looking forward to your inquiry! As contact person Uli Uhlenhof is at your disposal.