Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) has launched its Road Map 2025 – In Pursuit of Vision Zero, setting out for the first time the program’s priorities for new automated driving technologies.
In the document, Euro NCAP lays foundations for new safety tests that will provide first assessments for consumers of autonomous vehicles, collision avoidance technologies at junctions, autonomous steering and driver monitoring systems, as well as new tests to address accidents involving vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Since its establishment in 1997, Euro NCAP has been the catalyst for significant and sustained advances in automotive safety, with its independent crash tests and continuously evolving assessment protocols giving consumers the knowledge needed to help choose safer vehicles. Road Map 2025 explains how Euro NCAP will challenge vehicle manufacturers to offer the best possible technology as standard in all segments and countries, protecting not only car occupants, but also addressing the safety of other road users.
Secondary safety will remain at the heart of Euro NCAP’s consumer ratings for some time, but the program recognizes that primary safety will have an increasingly important role to play, and for the first time addresses ‘tertiary safety’, which includes systems to improve rescue times and accident survivability. The Road Map outlines a timeline for the introduction of key protocol enhancements, including:
Primary Safety - Driver Monitoring (2020); Automatic Emergency Steering (2020, 2022); Autonomous Emergency Braking (2020, 2022); Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Data Exchange (2024); Secondary Safety – Whiplash/Rear-end Crash Protection (2020); Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety (2022); Tertiary Safety – Rescue, Extrication and Safety (2020); Child Presence Detection (2022).
“The potential safety benefits of automated driving are huge. If we can eliminate human error, we should see road casualty numbers tumbling and many lives being saved. But there is a lot of misunderstanding, over-expectation and perhaps some suspicion, of a world in which cars can drive themselves,” explained Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s secretary general.
“Our role will be to provide clear information to consumers about the degree of automation in a car, and how safely that automation has been implemented.”
Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham Research, commented, “Road Map 2025 is a significant message of intent, and marks a watershed in vehicle safety assessments and ratings. It is no longer about just protecting car occupants in an accident, but also assessing how a car can brake and steer automatically to avoid other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.”
To view a presentation of the Road Map 2025, click here.