Safety tests improved for new autonomous car features

The car crash safety body Euro NCAP has updated its testing to prepare for an autonomous future – and give car buyers a clearer idea of how safe their vehicle is.

Euro NCAP launched its Road Map 2025 on its 20th anniversary, setting out the programme’s priorities in an automotive landscape that is drastically transforming.

While still focussing on driver and passenger safety, including automatic emergency steering, autonomous emergency braking and vehicle-to-vehicle data exchange, other vulnerable road users will be taken further into account with the new ratings.

What is known as tertiary safety will be taken into account for the first time, which includes rescue, extrication and safety as well as child presence detection.

Responding to the launch of Euro NCAP’s Road Map 2025 chief executive of Thatcham Research Peter Shaw said: “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 capable a car can brake and steer automatically to avoid other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. It lays the foundations for safety assessment of autonomous vehicles.”

Thatcham Research’s director of research Matthew Avery added: “We have concerns over the way car manufacturers name and market assisted and automated driving functionalities, with “auto” or “pilot” prefixes.

“People are looking for answers around how safe the new assisted and autonomous technologies are, and the Euro NCAP assessments and ratings will give clear information about how safely it operates, and what obligations the driver has around taking back control.”

Aidan Rennie-Jones


September 19, 2017

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