Safety experts put electronic systems at the focus of their assessments

Safety experts put electronic systems at the focus of their assessments

Market news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme), an association of European transport ministries, automobile clubs and insurance associations to assess the accident safety of vehicles, has presented its roadmap until 2030. In the process, electronic systems such as driver assistance systems (ADAS) or electronic communication (V2X) are moving more into the focus of attention of the accident experts.

The new NCAP Vision 2030 roadmap sets the focus of vehicle safety for European industry over the next decade, but also presents the role that Euro NCAP will play in the context of the future mobility landscape.  In this roadmap, Euro NCAP also makes a commitment to push for vehicle safety developments and testing that reflects the diversity of the European population.

The release of the Vision 2030 establishes the key focus areas for the European new vehicle market – both for existing automotive industry stakeholders, but also for new industry stakeholders that have not previously been involved in the Euro NCAP process.

Reflecting the technology shift to encourage assisted and automated driving technologies, the four key areas of Euro NCAP assessment – in place since 2009 – will be adjusted to four distinct phases of a potential crash event: Safe Driving; Crash Avoidance; Crash Protection; and Post-Crash Safety. This change will take effect from 2026, with Euro NCAP moving to a three-year protocol update cycle.

Euro NCAP will be phasing in virtual testing, improving testing for vulnerable road user protection, and introducing rating incentives for a range of driver monitoring systems.

Key additions to the Euro NCAP programme, looking forward to 2030 also include:

  • – Testing and assessment of Assisted and Automated driver support systems
  • – Assessment of technology that monitors driver impairment and cognitive distraction
  • – Requirements to further improve the real-world efficacy of speed assistance technology
  • – Active safety tests which more closely simulate real road environments and examine human-machine interaction (HMI) design, ensuring more robust and efficient driver assistant systems
  • – Testing and assessment of safety functions enabled by V2V, V2I and V2X communication
  • – Passive safety tests which give greater focus to gender equality and the aging population of drivers/occupants
  • – Evaluation of fire risk and thermal runaway in electric vehicles and improved information for first and second responders
  • – Promoting best practice in vehicle security and data access.

Euro NCAP is also setting its sights on new programmes that will assess the safety of motorcycles and motor scooters ‘powered two wheelers’ as well as light and heavy goods vehicles, seeking to address the overrepresentation of these vehicles in road fatalities and serious injuries.

‘Cars are becoming more advanced as manufacturers work towards their goal of autonomous and connected vehicles. We are not yet living in an era of fully self-driving cars but driving support technologies are becoming widespread. Given the importance of these assisted and automated driving technologies, Euro NCAP will adopt a penalty/rewards approach for cars that offer these systems,” said Dr Niels Ebbe Jacobsen, President of Euro NCAP. “Also, Euro NCAP intends to accommodate all forms of connectivity and the various technical communication standards in the rating by evaluating each safety function in a technological neutral way.”

“By developing timely voluntary standards for advanced safety technology, we see an opportunity to act as a catalyst for accelerating uptake and promoting best practice, not just for passenger cars but also in the commercial vehicle fleet”, added Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s Secretary General. ‘Collaboration with industry is essential and has been key to our success. We are looking forward to working together towards meeting the objectives outlined for the next decade.”

The Vision 2030 roadmap has been developed in close collaboration with Euro NCAPs partner organization in Asia and Australia, ANCAP.

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