Europe’s safety crash test for vehicles is set to become tougher. The safety agency Euro NCAP has changed its 23-year old safety crash test protocol that will make it harder for cars to get maximum points.
The Euro NCAP released a statement saying that new crash test not only evaluates the protection of occupants inside the car, but also assesses how the cars’ front-end structures contribute to injuries in the collision partner.
The statement also clarified that the latest updates would mean side impacts in crash tests will include adjustments to the near-side barrier test speed and mass, increasing the severity of the test. For the first time, Euro NCAP will 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.
Some of the other important changes are the Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier and the unique method to rate vehicle compatibility, as well as the first adoption of the world’s most advanced “THOR" mid-sized male crash test dummy.
Euro NCAP will also continue to test the latest generation of crash prevention and driver assistance systems. New, challenging test scenarios are going to be added to rate AEB technology for cars and vulnerable road users, including back over situations and turning at a crossing. In addition, the first step is taken to evaluate Driver Status Monitoring systems, designed to detect driver fatigue and distraction, as part of the Safety Assist assessment.
(Also read: MG ZS EV passes EuroNCAP crash test in flying colours, secures 5-star rating)
Post-crash safety too plays a vital role in crash survival. Hence, in partnership with CTIF, the International Association of Fire & Rescue Services, Euro NCAP has 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, electric door handles, etc. and endorses advanced eCall functions.
These changes are the main pillars of Euro NCAP’s new 2020 protocols. The impact of these updates, as well some other minor changes, will be significant. Therefore, consumers must be careful when directly comparing the latest results with ratings from previous years. What stays the same is that only vehicles that perform excellently in crash protection, post-crash and crash avoidance - and the ones that car buyers should look out for - will achieve the top “five star" rating.