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What is CDR?

How does the CDR Tool work?

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What is CDR?

CDR is an Acronym for "Crash Data Retrieval"

CDR IS the Tool enabling the retrieval of vital data (EDR data) from a vehicle that has been involved in a crash. To retrieve crash data from today's passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs, you need a third party tool that connects to the vehicle under examination and is able to access and retrieve the volumes of data that may be stored in that vehicle after a crash.

CDR IS a Tool made up of hardware and software which provides the ability to “image” or retrieve EDR data that may be stored in the control modules of passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs.

The CDR Tool hardware and software are completely external to supported production vehicles.

The software component is a single, stand alone program designed to run in a Windows environment. The hardware part of the Tool is a collection of components including cables and adapters which, with proper training and minimal difficulty, are used to “image” data from supported vehicles.

Crash Data Retrieval is NOT:

  • NOT a “crash data recorder”
  • NOT a “Black Box”
  • NOT something installed in a vehicle
  • NOT tracking driver’s “habits” or locations
  • NOT a tool to “reset”, “remove”, or “modify” data stored in the EDR

EDR - Event Data Recorder

An Event Data Recorder (EDR) is a function or device installed in a motor vehicle to record technical vehicle and occupant information for a very brief period of time before, during and after a crash solely for the purpose of monitoring and assessing vehicle safety system performance.

After a module’s primary functions are complete and where appropriate thresholds are met, data may be recorded as part of the “Event Data Recorder” (EDR) functionality or capability. An “EDR” is not a stand alone device and the data may not always be recorded. In some situations, there may be nothing to “image” from a module in a vehicle.

EDRs may record:

  • information, but only after some physical event like a crash
  • vehicle dynamics information and system status for about 5 seconds before a crash
  • certain driver inputs for about 5 seconds before a crash
  • vehicle crash severity signature
  • restraint use and deployment related information
  • post-crash data such as the activation of an automatic collision notification (ACN) system

EDRs do NOT record:

  • the name of the driver
  • audio or video of the crash
  • names or the identity of passenger(s)
  • the places the car has been driven
  • and the systems don't record information unless there's been a physical occurrence like a crash

Imaging Crash Data

In the context of CDR Tool technology, the word “image” is used to describe the process of saving a digital copy of the crash data which may be recorded in a supported vehicle to the person's computer. Think of it being similar to a photographic image. When you take a picture of a vehicle, you are not physically changing or taking anything away from that vehicle, just getting an “image.”  That vehicle is in the same condition as it was before the photograph. The CDR Tool simply retrieves an "image" of crash data which may be in that vehicle and copies that data - as an “image” - to your computer in a secure digital file.

CDR Usage in the Following Industries

Accident Reconstruction Law Enforcement Insurance Fleet management

EDR data (crash data) is currently used by law enforcement, private accident reconstructionists, auto manufacturers, auto insurance companies, fleet management and government researchers to assist in accurately evaluating crashes involving passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs. By retrieving and reviewing the crash data stored in these vehicle, potential fault, fraud, liability, witness accounts and other evidence can be more effectively evaluated.

The use of EDR data in civil and criminal court cases is on the rise as the data has become more accepted as a source of reliable, empirical evidence. There have been a number of trial cases in the United Stated as well as internationally involving EDRs.  Drivers have been both convicted and exonerated as a direct result of EDR evidence and thorough crash investigations.

To learn more about using the CDR Tool to retrieve EDR data, click one of the industries above or use the navigation on the left.

Information Video

CDR video of fraudulent accident claims

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


DLC imaging of a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado

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


How to CDR ACM benchtop download

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



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