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How to Interpret Commercial Vehicle Event Data Recorders (EDRs)
Instructor: Ron Baade , William Messerschmidt , Jeremy Daily
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Most commercial vehicles in use today have some form of event data recorder (EDR).  These EDRs monitor and record data on the databus of the vehicle, and often are capable of providing information about the kinematics of a vehicle before, during and after a major collision.

Understanding how to access, recover, and interpret these data is important to engineers and police involved in collision reconstruction, as well as fleet managers, attorneys, insurance companies and researchers seeking to prevent future accidents.

Course Highlights/Features:

  • Case Studies
  • Basic Validity Testing in a Hands-on Environment by performing EDR downloads in the 'field'
  • Actual Engine Modules will be available for downloading
  • Hands-on, Interactive Instruction
  • Field Day
  • Focuses only on Heavy Truck (Commercial Vehicle) EDRs
  • Testing and Evaluation
  • Class size is limited ...Sign Up Today!


This short course is designed for:

  • Police and Civil Accident Investigators
  • Engineers with Forensic Practice
  • Researchers Interested in the Application of Truck Event Data to Highway Safety
By attending this course, you will walk away...

Knowing how to:
  • Access the data and preserve it so that it is viable evidence in court or civil proceedings
  • Troubleshoot connection problems between the PC and the engine computer after severe crashes
  • Access the event data stored in late model heavy trucks, including Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar, and Cummins engines
  • Become familiar with the published research into accuracy, reliability, and application of the data
And Understanding:
  • How the reported data are measured and calculated, so that valid interpretations can be made
  • The known limitations of EDR data, including when data is not captured
  • How data are collected and how they can be validated

Course Outline

·          Welcome and overview of the class

·          Description of a commercial vehicle

·          Identification of electronic control modules

·          Overview of measurement and control systems

·          Description of the methods of communication

o    J1587/J1708

o    J1939

·          An approach to using ECM data in accident investigation

·          Introduction to the types of ECM data, history of the ECM

·          List of vehicles with an EDR function

·          Vehicle specific features, data, and details

o    Detroit Diesel

o    Cummins Intellect Series

o    Caterpillar

o    Mack and Volvo

o    International

o    Third Party Telematics

o    Other EDR systems

·          ECM Field Guides

·          ECM Testing:  Lab / Bench Downloads

·          ECM Testing:  Test Track

·          Data Analysis: 

o    Maine SP testing and NAPARS testing

o    Calculating speed from RPM

o    ECM literature review

o    Determining the time of impact

o    Multiple hard brake events

o    Properties of the Last Stop

·          Limitations and data preservation

·          Final Examination



"The course was "right on" and provided the knowledge necessary to accurately preserve and interpret commercial vehicle electronic data." - F. Semke, Principal Engineer, Semke Forensic

"This is a very good course to learn the specifics of how to download heavy truck ECMs and how to interpret the data." - C. Bloomberg, President, Bloomberg Consulting

"Finally - A truck ECM course taught by and for forensic scientists.  'Must Have' training from highly knowledgable practioners and researchers." - J. Painter, President, TARAS, Inc.

Length: 4 1/2 days

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