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Are Black Box in Airplane and Car Similar?

Have you ever heard of Black Box? If yes then it may be about the Black Box in an airplane. But as the title says nowadays cars also have a black box.

Like we always do before understanding similarities and differences, we will first try to understand the term “Black Box”.

What is a Black Box in an airplane?


A Black Box is well known as an electronic recording device placed in an aircraft to investigate when any accidents occur. A Black Box can be referred to as a flight recorder.

It provides detailed information about flight before it meets with an accident which humans or other devices fail to provide. This system records sounds including conversations in the cockpit (pilot compartment), atmospheric sound, radio communication, and more.

Flight Recorder provides help in understanding the cause of the crash. It is like a witness to the incident. Similarly, it delivers the answers that prevent similar incidents in the future. The Flight Recorder can save 25 hours worth of flight data but only two hours of audio recordings.

The basic parameters required to be recorded by a Flight Recorder are:

  • Microphone keying
  • Indicated airspeed
  • Pressure altitude
  • Magnetic heading
  • Normal acceleration

What is a Black Box in a car?


In-car, these devices are called event data recorders and track everything from speed before an accident to whether the driver was wearing a seat belt or not at that time. 

This device is available in many recent cars. It comes with a GPS unit. The main feature of the system is that it records vehicle location with time, detects motion, and tracks driving behavior. It also checks your road condition whether you are driving on a smooth or rough road.

When a car accident occurs, the Box will record the car’s driving speed, engine speed, brake application, the force of the accident, and more. These records will inform how the driver reacted before and during the accident.

What are the similarities between car and airplane Black Box?

Here we will see how car and airplane Black Box have similarities in terms of features.



  • Many of the car Black Boxes send the details of the accident to the server or the app but airplane Black Boxes don’t have such technology. 
  • When car accidents occur, the Black Box captures data for an average of 5 seconds, meanwhile, in an airplane, the Flight Recorder stores large information on a memory chip.
  • The car Flight Recorder can not sustain underwater but the airplane Flight Recorder has an underwater location beacon (signal) that can send signals for 1 month from 20,000 feet.
  • The car Flight Recorder can send real-time data of the location, driving behavior, and more while the airplane Flight Recorder is not useful when the plane is in motion.


Thus the details above prove that they are different but have many features in common. They both have the importance of their own and understanding them was important and so we have gathered brief information about the Black Box.