Tesla’s event data recorder (EDR) is like an airplane’s black box, it records just about everything that the car is doing and what the driver does to the car. For example, the data shows the vehicle’s speed, how far each pedal is pressed, what kind of g-forces the vehicle is experiencing, what settings are on or off, which seat belts are buckled, and much more.
If a Tesla is involved in an accident, the information in the EDR could be critical to the owner and authorities investigating the accident.
In the past, it wasn’t always easy for Tesla owners to retrieve the information in the EDR, but now, Tesla has made it much easier. Although, it comes at a price.
Tesla launched an EDR Resources site that gives Tesla owners the software and hardware they need to obtain the EDR information. It also provides directions on how to retrieve the data from a Tesla. Directions can vary depending on the year and model. According to the website:
“To access EDR data from a Tesla vehicle you’ll need a Windows computer, appropriate cables and adapters, the Tesla EDR retrieval program and a MyTesla account. See the help page for more information.”
Fortunately, the software needed is free, but the required cables and USB-to-CAN adapter aren’t. A complete EDR retrieval kit (from Crash Data Group) costs $1,200. In addition, if you don’t have a Windows computer you might have to borrow one or pay a technician to retrieve the data for you.
Speaking of paying a technician for the data, that’s exactly what a Tesla owner had to do when Tesla wouldn’t give him the EDR information (stating legal reasons) after a valet driver crashed his Model 3. It cost the Tesla owner $1,300 for a technician to retrieve the EDR data, which proved that the valet driver hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal right before the parking garage accident.
I’m glad Tesla is making it easier to get EDR information but the cost is a little high and it seems like a hassle if you don’t have a Windows computer or aren’t computer savvy. If the price makes sense, it might be easier to find a technician to do it for you as the above Tesla owner did.