The consumer vehicle safety rating organisation Euro NCAP has announced major changes to its testing process.
A significant difference in the new 2020 testing regime is the implementation of a new “moving barrier to moving car” frontal crash test. This new test not only evaluates the protection of occupants inside the car being tested, but also assesses how a car’s front-end structure contributes to injuries in the “collision partner” i.e. the other vehicle involved. This could be important, for example, in judging the safety of SUVs when they crash into smaller cars. The car industry has massively increased its sales of SUV and SUV-style vehicles in recent years.
According to Euro NCAP, side impacts account for the second highest frequency of death or serious injury. The latest updates of the safety assessment include adjustments to the near-side barrier test speed and mass, increasing the severity of the test. More significantly, Euro NCAP will for the first time evaluate far-side impact protection, focussing on driver protection and the potential interaction between driver and front seat passenger. With the latter test, the protection offered by new-to-market countermeasures, such as centre airbags, can be adequately verified.
Euro NCAP continues to test the latest generation of crash prevention and driver assistance systems. New, more challenging test scenarios have been added to rate Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) technology for cars and vulnerable road users, including the scenario of turning at a crossing. In addition, the first step has been taken to evaluate Driver Status Monitoring systems, designed to detect driver fatigue and distraction.
The new tests also take into account post-collision response. In partnership with CTIF, the International Association of Fire & Rescue Services, Euro NCAP developed new rating rules to promote better post-crash safety. Manufacturers will be rewarded when rescue information is accurate and easily available. Euro NCAP also checks ease of extrication and advanced eCall functions.