Most of us have probably heard of the “black boxes” often in planes that are nearly indestructible and record a myriad of information pertaining to the flight’s mechanical situation. But did you know that many cars have them too? As you may also know, Tiger Woods was recently in a nasty car accident. While he is ok, there are some mysteries as to what exactly happened to make his Genisis GV80 lose control and fly off the road that a black box could help provide some valuable clues.
Why did Tiger Woods crash?
Investigators are still looking into that, but the information on the black box should prove useful. As reported by Autoblog, There still aren’t many regulations in the U.S. pertaining to these recording devices being mandatory in cars. Luckily the Genisis GV80, a luxury off-shoot of Hyundai, had this device installed so that we can learn more about how the crash happened.
The place where Woods crashed is a known spot for crashes, but authorities have stated that Woods was not driving drunk and was alone. As of this writing, all we know for sure is that Woods hit a raised median a went off the road, down a hill, rolling multiple times. The crash resulted in a serious leg injury but luckily nothing worse, according to initial reports. We are still uncertain how much of the crash and what led up to it that Woods remembers, hence the black box’s value.
What is a black box?
The black box is a small computer used to record from a vehicle’s various sensors that the authorities can download in the event of a crash. Manufacturers usually mount the boxes either under a seat or somewhere within the dash to keep them safe.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even as far back as 2005 model year vehicles, 64 percent of cars had black boxes. That number has only gone up since 2005. The chance that your car has one is pretty high these days.
What can the black box tell the authorities about Tiger Woods’ Genesis GV80?
As of 2013, federal regulation requires these black boxes or data recorders to record 15 different points of data. Autoblog reports the list includes; “speed up to five seconds before impact, whether and how much the gas pedal was pressed, whether the brakes were applied, whether the driver’s seat belt was fastened, whether the front airbags inflated, and how long that took, and the change in forwarding speed. Newer versions of the boxes can store sideways force taken from gyroscopes, measuring how fast a vehicle rolled over or whether antilock brakes and stability control were operating.”
Although the Genisis spokeswoman hasn’t given a public statement about exactly what Tiger Woods’ GV80 recorded, in general, Hyundai products record more than the required 15 data points. Modern Hyundai products like the GV80 record things like steering angle and automatic emergency braking. Hopefully, between all these various points of data, the authorities can figure out how Tiger Woods managed to run off the road with seemingly no other traffic around at the time. Obviously, these data recorders can’t help prevent crashes in real-time, but the data can help make cars safer and more stable in the future.