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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 in them.

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

What is Black Box in airplane?


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

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

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

The basic parameters required to be recorded by a Black Box are:

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

What is Black Box in car?


In-car, these devices are referred to as event data recorders and also track everything from speed before an accident to 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 Black Box will record the car’s driving speed, engine speed, brake application, the force of the accident, and more. These records will inform how was the driver reacting 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 them in terms of features.



  • Many of the car Black Boxes send the detail 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 Black Box stores large information on a memory chip.
  • The car Black Box can not sustain underwater but the airplane Black Box has an underwater location beacon (signal) that can send signals for 1 month from 20,000 feet.
  • The car Black Box can send real-time data of the location, driving behavior, and more while the airplane Black Box 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.