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The transport ministry plans to oblige automakers to install event data recorders in their new vehicles beginning in July 2022, informed sources said Tuesday.

Such devices make it easier to determine whether runaway car accidents are caused by vehicle defects or driving errors, based on data recorded at the times of the accidents. In addition, collected data can be used to improve vehicle safety technologies.

The ministry is set to carry out a ministry ordinance revision related to the road transport vehicle law as early as late September.

The new rule will cover passenger cars that can accommodate up to nine people and trucks with a total weight of up to 3.5 tons.

The rule will apply to new vehicles to be launched through model changes initially and cover all new vehicles, including existing models, in May 2026 and later.

Event data recorders log use of the accelerator pedal, speed changes, seat belt use and whether an automatic braking system works properly when collisions occur.

Through the envisaged ordinance revision, the ministry plans to require the recording of speed changes every 100th of a second and the capacity for storing data for at least two accidents.

According to the ministry, event data recorders are mounted on most passenger cars that went on sale in recent years, but they are not widely used in trucks.

In March this year, a U.N. meeting on vehicles adopted an international accord to make it mandatory to install event data recorders at the initiative of Japan. Other countries are expected to adopt standards similar to those planned in Japan.

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