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How the CDR Tool Works

The Bosch CDR Tool is easy to set up and use. The CDR Tool is a combination of hardware and software which together “image” crash data from supported vehicles. The CDR Tool can access and retrieve the data through the vehicle’s universal data port - the “DLC” - found in all late model passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs from which data can be retrieved using the CDR Tool, or you can connect directly to certain control modules in the vehicle to image the same crash data.

It is highly recommended to take a CDR Technician Level 1 & 2 course prior to using the CDR Tool so you more fully understand the proper use and limitations of the CDR Tool.

Normal Methods of Retrieval

  • The first choice is connecting directly to the vehicle and is often called "Direct to Vehicle" or "DLC".  For a variety of reasons, this is the preferred method of data retrieval. Using this method, the technician connects directly to the vehicle through the OBDII port (DLC port). While the vehicle must have power and one should have the key to the vehicle, if the key is unavailable and/or there’s no battery power to the vehicle the technician may need to use a different method.

  • The second choice is direct to the control module in which the data is stored. Normally, this is the airbag control module (ACM). With this method, the technician applies an alternate power supply to power the CDR Tool components and the vehicle’s control module. The control module can be either still attached to the vehicle or completely removed from the vehicle. This method is also often called "Direct to Module" or "D2M" but could also be referred to as "bench-top" or "desktop" retrieval.

Below are a couple simple illustrations of the Direct to Module retrieval and the Direct to Vehicle retrieval methods.

Direct to Vehicle (DLC)

For the technician imaging data through the vehicle’s standard diagnostic link connection (DLC) (also known as the OBDII), this diagram illustrates the basic connectivity concepts involved:

  1. Connect the CDR interface module to the computer
  2. Connect one end of the standard DLC cable to the CDR interface module and the other end to the vehicle’s DLC port
  3. Power the CDR interface module using the vehicle’s ignition
  4. Run the CDR software

Watch a short video on how to image a vehicle using the DLC method

DLC imaging of a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado

VIDEO: DLC Imaging of 2006 Chevrolet Silverado (Time 3:40)


Direct to Module (D2M)

For the technician imaging directly from the control module and NOT using the DLC port in the vehicle, this diagram illustrates the basic concept behind connecting the technician’s computer to the control module directly using the CDR Tool components.

  1. Connect to CDR interface module to your computer
  2. Connect one end of the appropriate D2M cable to the CDR interface module and the other end to the control module*
  3. Power the CDR interface module using the CDR Tool’s power supply
  4. Run the CDR software
*The CDR Help File will also inform you if any adapters are needed in addition to the D2M cable.


Watch a short video on how to image a vehicle using the Benchtop method

How to CDR ACM benchtop download

VIDEO: How to: Direct-to-module Imaging, benchtop method (Time 5:19)

Collecting Data

Whether the technician connects direct to the module or through the DLC, the next step in imaging data is to run the CDR Tool software.  The software is essentially menu driven, prompting the technician through a series of screens to establish information such as the vehicle’s make and model, VIN and case information. After the setup screens, the technician will confirm the software is ready to communicate with the module and, using the CDR Interface Module, the software communicates with the module and makes a image (copy) of any EDR data stored in the module.  The software confirms an actual copy of the data is received then the technician is prompted to "save" the EDR data to their computer and a protected digital file is created. A translation of the retrieved data image can then be viewed on screen, printed to paper or to a PDF.

What Gets Recorded?

An "event" is a crash or other physical occurrence which causes a trigger threshold to be met or exceeded. Data from the collision is stored in the vehicle's airbag control module as either a “non-deployment” event or a "deployment" event. The NHTSA Ruling mandates a minimum set of data parameters to be reported on a CDR report across all vehicle manufactures. See Table 1 below. However, this is the minimum, many auto manufacturers provide more data parameters that that listed in Table 1. Different make and model vehicles record different amounts of data and also vary in the number of "events" stored in the module.

Table 1:
Data Elements Required for All Vehicles Equipped with an EDR

DATA ELEMENT

DESCRIPTION

RECORDING INTERVAL / TIME1
Relative to time zero

DATA SAMPLE RATE
Samples per Second

Delta-V, longitudinal

Event related change of speed along the vehicle’s longitudinal axis front to rear or rear to front

0 to 250 ms

100

Maximum delta-V, longitudinal

Maximum change of speed along the vehicle’s longitudinal axis

0-300 ms

n.a.

Time, maximum delta-V

Time from the onset of the event to the point where the maximum speed change on the vehicle’s longitudinal axis was observed

0-300 ms

n.a.

Speed, vehicle indicated

Approx speed of the vehicle before the start of the event

-5.0 to 0 sec

2

Engine throttle, % full (or accelerator pedal, % full)

An approximation of how much throttle or accelerator was applied before the event

-5.0 to 0 sec

2

Service brake, on/off

Brake application before the event but not an indication of “how much” it was applied

-5.0 to 0 sec

2

Ignition cycle, crash

Number of times the module has been powered up since being installed in the vehicle up to the cycle at the time of the event

-1.0 sec

n.a.

Ignition cycle, download

Number of times the module has been powered up since being installed in the vehicle up to the current cycle where the imaging was completed

At time of download

n.a.

Safety belt status, driver

An indication of whether or not the driver’s seat belt was buckled at the time of the event

-1.0 sec

n.a.

Frontal air bag warning lamp, on/off

An indication of whether or not the airbag system warning lamp on the dash “ON” at the time of the event

-1.0 sec

n.a.

Frontal air bag deployment, time to deploy, in the case of a single stage air bag, or time to first stage deployment, in the case of a multi-stage air bag, driver

Time from the beginning of the crash at which the driver air bag begins to deploy.

Event

n.a.

Frontal air bag deployment, time to deploy, in the case of a single stage air bag, or time to first stage deployment, in the case of a multi-stage air bag, right front passenger

Time from the beginning of the crash at which the right front passenger air bag begins to deploy.

Event

n.a.

Multi-event, number of events (1,2)

How many crash events? 1 or 2? E.g., sideswipe followed by a head-on crash

Event

n.a.

Time from event 1 to 2

Time between two crash events (if applicable)

As needed

n.a.

Complete file recorded (yes, no)

Did the EDR complete the recording?

Following other data

n.a.

Where is Crash Data Recorded?

Crash data in passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs retrievable using the CDR Tool is recorded in one or more of the following manufacturer installed control module(s):

  • Airbag control module (ACM)
  • Roll over sensor (ROS)
  • Powertrain control module (PCM)
  • Pedestrian Protection Module (PPM - not currently supported in North America)

Which of these control modules crash data may be recorded to depends on system design choices made by the individual vehicle manufacturer (i.e. Ford, GM, Honda, etc.).

Airbag Control Module (ACM)

This is the most common source for recorded crash data, particularly in recent model cars. Airbag Control Module (ACM) is the generic name for the electronic control module (ECU) found in airbag equipped passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs. The ACM controls the function of various supplemental restraint systems (i.e.: airbags and seat belt pretensioners). For CDR Tool supported vehicles, this module includes the "EDR" capability.

Roll Over Sensor Module (ROS)

Only associated with General Motors vehicles accessible using the CDR Tool, the Roll Over Sensor (ROS) is a separate but connected control module used to determine whether or not a "rollover condition" is imminent or present and which works with the ACM to deploy "occupant containment" system components including belt pretensioners and occupant containment side curtain airbags. It has its own "EDR" capability and is imaged in a step separate from imaging the ACM (although it is in the same vehicle).

Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

Certain Ford Powertrain Control Modules (PCM) may record data which may be associated with a crash event. Access and data elements are limited to select Ford vehicles as indicated in the CDR software Help file. For supported vehicles, the data is stored effectively as the PCM’s "EDR" capability although the PCM has no independent crash sensing capability.

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VIDEO: Crash Data Retrieval in Evaluating Fraudulent Claims (Time 13:18)


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