Euro NCAP sets out plans for future vehicle safety testing

  • November 10, 2022

The safe rollout of automated driving features, more effective Intelligent Speed Assistance systems, increased safety for motorcyclists and new ratings for lorries are all on the agenda for the consumer vehicle safety rating organisation Euro NCAP according to its new ‘Vision 2030’ plan, published earlier this month.

ETSC has picked out some highlights from the new paper below:

Assisted and Automated Driving Systems

“The assisted driving gradings will, for the time being, remain complementary to the overall rating and continue to be published separately from the star rating. Given the importance of the technology, its potential safety benefits, but also its associated risks, Euro NCAP will adopt a penalty/rewards approach for cars that offer assisted driving systems, whether fitted as an option or standard. Where the system is made standard and achieves a high-level grading, this will be reflected in a higher Safe Driving score. On the other hand, where such a system scores poorly in the driver engagement assessment, even if it is only offered as an option, a penalty will be applied.”

Intelligent Speed Assistance

“Euro NCAP plans to overhaul the protocol, removing any overlap with type approval requirements and focus on complementary performance and functions only. Key will be the shift from encouraging “advisory” systems only to “intervention” systems that actively reduce the speed, while maintaining driver acceptance.”  

More representative crash test dummies

“Euro NCAP is already testing with crash dummies of different type and stature in frontal impact protection. Not all dummies used, however, are state-of-the art. Underscoring the concept of a car “designed for all”, it proposes to adopt the latest generation THOR 5F small female and THOR 50M mid-size male crash dummies. Both dummies will be used as driver and front passenger, respectively, in a revised low severity full-width barrier test, applying criteria and injury limits that promote restraints that better protect elderly occupants.”  

Lorry safety ratings

“In 2020, Euro NCAP started work on the concept of a new European-wide truck label, as a standalone instrument enabling road authorities, cities, and operators to scale up urban truck schemes, complementing regulatory requirements. The label will primarily be constructed around crash avoidance technology but will eventually also include other aspects of safety, such as seatbelt usage, front-end compatibility, front and side underrun protection and rescue information for first responders…The label will clearly discriminate between “city” and “highway”, allowing operators to prioritise the aspect most important to their operation.” 

Detecting motorcyclists

“Euro NCAP is already targeting motorcycle incidents by expanding crash avoidance testing to include PTW (powered two-wheeler) crash scenarios…it is planned to evolve these tests in the future, i.e., by increasing test speed, but also by introducing PTW scenarios to the Commercial Van and Assisted Driving assessment.” 

Preventing heat-related child deaths

“Child Presence Detection (CPD) systems can sense the presence of a child and alert the carers of the child left alone in a car. Euro NCAP has released its first CPD protocol for implementation in 2023, which permits indirect and direct sensing solutions to score points. The protocol stipulates that, from 2025 onwards, only direct sensing systems, capable of effectively detecting a living being, will be rewarded.”