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Entries in Technology (12)


MSC to Host CDR User Training Classes in December 2012 (CDR Version 8.0 & Newly Covered Vehicles)

Kelly Messerschmidt
Technical Communications Manager

Messerschmidt Safety Consultants (MSC) will host the CDR Systems Operators Class and the CDR Analysis and Applications Class on December 3 – 7, 2012, at The Accelerator at Southern Miss, which is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The classes will be taught by instructors Brad Muir and Jon Northrup, of Crash Data Specialists LLC. Muir and Northrup will be using the latest version of the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) System, version 8.0.

The CDR System allows users to image important vehicle crash data present in the Airbag Control Modules (ACMs) of most late model production vehicles from manufacturers including Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, GM (Chevy, Olds, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, Cadillac, GMC, Holden, & Opal), Honda/Acura, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti, Saab, Sterling, Suzuki, and Toyota/Lexus/Scion.

Learn more about the vehicle coverage in CDR Software v8.0.

The CDR Systems Operators Class is an eight-hour class that covers the basics of operation, including how to determine if the subject vehicle is supported by CDR, how to select the appropriate connection method to safely image crash data, and how to create reports and save the imaged data for later use. This class serves as the prerequisite for the 32-hour CDR Analysis and Applications Class, which Crash Data Specialists will be teaching Tuesday through Friday (December 4 – 7, 2012).

The CDR Analysis and Applications Class teaches users how to understand the function of the Event Data Recorder (EDR) information present in some ACMs. In this class, users perform line-by-line data analyses, learn how to apply the data to the crash, and receive instruction on delta-v, closing speed analysis, and a variety of additional topics.

Register for the CDR classes online, or register by calling MSC's office at 205.444.0071.

View a printable flyer (pdf).



Apple Files GPS Synchronization Technology Patent 

Kevin Jones
Technical Analyst

In May, Apple filed a patent that aims to allow synchronization between mobile devices and vehicles. This technology would be used to give sharper global positioning tracking and turn-by-turn navigation using Wi-Fi hotspots, cell towers, and sensor data. Location information may be shared between the vehicle and mobile devices to minimize the amount of time it takes for positions to be traced when signals are lost. This technology would allow synchronization of other aspects such as contacts between the mobile devices and vehicles.

To learn more about this, read "Apple Looks to Sync Mobile, Vehicle Devices," at MacNews.


Benjamin Smith to Present at North Texas IASIU

Kelly Messerschmidt 
Technical Communications Manager 

Benjamin Smith of Messerschmidt Safety Consultants will present to the North Texas Chapter of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU), on 20 August 2012, in Dallas, Texas. 

The main focus of Smith's presentation will be on proper lighting and flash techniques for low-light environments. The presentation will also include the general principles of forensic photography, digital camera functions, and RAW file processing. Additionally, Smith will discuss modern, high and low dynamic range techniques that can be used for evidence detail enhancement and proper image exposure. 

The presentation, entitled “Forensic Photography,” is part of the North Texas IASIU’s continuing education program, and Smith’s presentation materials have been submitted for certification by the State of Texas for the Texas Department of Insurance. 

Learn more the forensic photography services MSC provides.


Adaptive Headlights Crash Avoidance Feature Shown to Yield Benefits

Kevin Jones
Technical Analyst

Crash avoidance technologies used by auto industry manufacturers appear to be showing some promise, according to insurance claims analyses performed by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). Over the past few years, some select manufacturers have been placing features in cars that were designed to help drivers avoid crashes. Some of these features include lane departure warnings, blind spot detection, and adaptive headlights.

Adaptive headlights, which are offered by manufacturers that include Acura, Mazda, Mercedes, and Volvo, were shown to be one of the most promising crash avoidance features when it comes to decreasing dollars spent on auto property damage and injury claims. While regular headlights are stationary, adaptive headlights are designed to respond to driver steering, speed, and other factors, and adjust according the vehicle’s travel direction. Based on data from the study, the HLDI’s expectations for this feature were met and exceeded.

On the other hand, the HLDI analysis showed that some of the crash avoidance features that were added did not yield the results that were expected. More analysis is still necessary to determine why the frequency of collision and property damage claims did not fall with other avoidance features.

To learn more about the study please read an HLDI news release, dated 03 July 2012.


Technology Aside, Driver Safety is Top Priority for NHTSA

Kevin Jones
Technical Analyst

With so many telematics and smart phone technologies built into today’s automobile, what’s possible seems limitless. More and more, it looks like we’re closing the gap between what Hanna-Barbera’s The Jetsons envisioned in the 1960s and where we are now.

Nevertheless, all of this technology is not as openly welcomed as you might think. While there is a lot of excitement about new technologies and their being incorporated into automobiles, some safety advocates would like to see more restraint.

On June 9, 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Administrator, David L. Strickland, spoke at the 2011 Detroit Diesel conference in Novi, Michigan. Mr. Strickland praised the use of vehicle technology that supports such functions as vehicle maintenance and also the use of navigation systems to help first-responders in the event of vehicle crashes. However, he made it clear that he does not support technologies that are distracting to drivers. In Mr. Strickland’s presentation, titled "USDOT Sheds Lights on Driver Distraction Issues (Crucial Session)," he expresses that while drivers’ connecting to all the new technologies in their vehicle is not necessary, some vehicle owners still very much embrace the technologies being added to vehicles.

In May 2011, at the Association for Safer International Road Travel Annual Gala Fundraiser, in Washington, D.C., Mr. Strickland spoke about the need for crash avoidance technologies. In his remarks, Mr. Strickland says, “Crash avoidance technologies provide an opportunity to save lives and reduce injuries by supporting the driver and preventing crashes from occurring in the first place.” He also puts forth that vehicle to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication are two possible ways to help reduce the number of automobile crashes.

However, at the same time that these safety applications are making a positive difference in reducing crashes, and while their use is being encouraged, NHTSA is simultaneously “taking a hard look at these systems” and challenging both the auto industry and cell phone industry to work hand-in-hand with federal transportation officials “to keep the driver on their required task: driving.”