Bortles, W., McDonough, S., Smith, C., and Stogsdill, M., "An Introduction to the Forensic Acquisition of Passenger Vehicle Infotainment and Telematics Systems Data," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-1437, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-1437.
The data obtained from event data recorders found in airbag control modules, powertrain control modules and rollover sensors in passenger vehicles has been validated and used to reconstruct crashes for years. Recently, a third-party system has been introduced that allows crash investigators and reconstructionists to access, preserve and analyze data from infotainment and telematics systems found in passenger vehicles. The infotainment and telematics systems in select vehicles retain information and event data from cellular telephones and other devices connected to the vehicle, vehicle events and navigation data in the form of tracklogs. These tracklogs provide a time history of a vehicle’s geolocation that may be useful in investigating an incident involving an automobile or reconstructing a crash. This paper presents an introduction to the type of data that may be retained and the methods for performing data acquisitions. Finally, a case study is presented in which various vehicle events are examined and Global Positioning System (GPS) tracklog data imaged from a vehicle is compared to independent GPS instrumentation to analyze the accuracy of the retrieved tracklog data.