The term "AOBRD," or "Automatic On-board Recording Device," has been defined since the 1980s as "an electric, electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical device capable of recording driver's duty status information accurately and automatically as required by §395.15. The device must be integrally synchronized with specific operations of the commercial motor vehicle in which it is installed. At a minimum, the device must record engine use, road speed, miles driven, the date, and time of day." These are the devices presently being installed and used. Any AOBRD installed before December 18, 2017, can be used until December 16, 2019. At that time, any remaining AOBRDs will need to be updated to meet the ELD technical specifications.
Electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) was to be the term to replace AOBRDs, but the rulemaking to do so was never finalized.
An electronic logging device (ELD) is the most recent term to define an electronic device that is capable of recording a driver's driving hours and duty status automatically. In order to be considered an ELD, the device must meet specific technology requirements and be included on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) registration site. These are the devices that will be replacing AOBRDs due to the ELD rule. As of December 18, 2017, only ELD devices listed on FMCSA's ELD registry can be placed into service.
References to E-Logs or ELogs are generic references to AOBRDs or ELDs.