As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

New Protocols for Euro NCAP Crash Testing

Moving Barrier in new Euro NCAP tests.

‘Euro NCAP’; so what do all these letters mean?  Euro, obviously, means ‘European’, and NCAP means ‘New Car Assessment Programme’.  So what this team at Euro NCAP does is test out new cars by putting put them through a stringent crash test to see how they perform.  New cars need to meet a set of standards in order to get marked as having a certain level of crash safety.  This is really handy for the likes of you and me because it provides new car, and second-hand car, buyers a good informative test standard whereby we can satisfy ourselves that a car we’re about to buy meets levels of crash-test safety that we’re happy with.

This crash test safety rating, given by authorities like Euro NCAP and ANCAP (but not restricted to), stands up well in the real world, where cars involved in a crash keep the occupants safe according to the rating given in tests.  When a car is involved in a severe crash, the higher the car’s safety rating (approved through testing) is seen to offer a better chance of survival for its occupants.  The opposite is also true, where the lower the safety rating the higher the chance of severe injury to the car’s occupants.

Every two years, Euro NCAP updates and toughens its test protocols.  Recently, the crash testing bar at Euro NCAP headquarters has been raised for any new cars that get tested.  This is always a good thing because it drives new car manufacturers to improve their cars safety capability.  This year sees Euro NCAP  addressing some issues in occupant protection, providing an improved post-crash protection test and delivering a push for the new cars to have the latest advanced driver assistance technology.

Leading the new protocols is one major change in the offset crash test; and that is the introduction of a new moving barrier to moving car frontal crash test.  This replaces the current moderate offset-deformable barrier test, which has been used by Euro NCAP for the last twenty three years. The barrier will now move at around 50 km/h toward the car to better replicate what happens in the real world.  Even the thought of it suggests that manufacturers will have to strengthen their car’s safety cell to score highly!

This new crash test will evaluate the protection of the car’s occupants in the crash, as well as assessing how the cars’ front-end structures contribute, or not, to occupant injury in the collision. The new regulations also include the world’s most advanced mid-sized male crash test dummy called “THOR”.  Thor will provide lots of extra information on how well ‘he’ has been protected during the new crash testing regime.

Side impacts are never pretty, and they account for the second highest frequency of death or serious injuries. New adjustments to the near-side barrier test’s speed and mass has resulted in an increase in the severity of the test. Strengthening protection down the sides of new cars will have to be on the agenda if manufacturers want to score well in this side impact test.

Also, Euro NCAP will begin evaluating far-side impact protection that focuses on driver protection and the potential interaction between the driver and front-seat passenger during the collision. New protection offered by new-to-market countermeasures such as centre airbags between driver and passenger will be adequately scrutinised.

New driver-assist technologies will be looked at, and to score highly new cars will need to use competent accident emergency braking technology in the cars to protect vulnerable road users.  These would include road users behind the car in a reversing-back-over situation, as well as road users in the path of the car turning at a crossing. Also, evaluations on Driver Status Monitoring systems, designed to detect driver fatigue and distraction, will be part of the Safety Assist assessment run by Euro NCAP.

Manufacturers will be rewarded when any rescue information is accurate after a crash which has happened in the real world becomes easily available for scrutiny. Euro NCAP also checks ease of rescue after an accident has occurred, electric door handles, softness of materials in the cabin etc. and will endorse any technology that calls for help in an emergency situation.

These are some of the major changes we’ll see employed by Euro NCAP’s new 2020 protocols. Our local ANCAP testing will be sure to follow similar protocols so as to give the best information for us lot – the car buyers.