Future safety developments put a new onus on car makers to be clear about their systems and what they can and cannot do before a driver must take over.
Since its establishment in 1997, Euro NCAP has been the catalyst for significant and sustained advances in automotive safety. It’s independent crash tests and continuously evolving assessment protocols have given consumers the knowledge they needed to help choose safety and an estimated 76 thousand lives have been saved in the EU as a result.
This week, Euro NCAP launched its Road Map 2025, setting out for the first time the programme’s priorities for the mobility and technological revolution the auto industry is just beginning to experience.
The objective is to offer clarity and confidence to motoring consumers, highlighting new automated driving technologies and raising awareness of their benefits whilst also helping to ensure their safety potential is fully realised.
Euro NCAP will challenge vehicle manufacturers to offer the best possible technology as standard in all segments and countries, protecting not only car occupants of all ages but also increasingly addressing the safety of other more vulnerable road users.
Secondary safety is and will remain at the heart of Euro NCAP’s consumer ratings for some time but recognises that primary safety will have an increasingly important role to play and for the first time now tertiary safety is addressed.
|The strategy going forward will be to emphasise the integration of primary, secondary and tertiary safety features as enablers of a more holistic, safe system approach, in Pursuit of Vision Zero and time when there will be no road accidents.
Responding to the launch of Euro NCAP’s “Road Map 2025”, Peter Shaw, chief executive, Thatcham Research comments: “Euro NCAP’s “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.”
|What & when|
|The Road Map outlines a timeline for the introduction of key protocol enhancements, including:
While actively preventing crashes in the first place, the Road Map moves the safety agenda further on, by addressing accident scenarios like junctions where pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists are most likely to be killed or seriously injured in collisions with cars. In the UK, 30% of all those Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) on the UK’s roads are Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs).
Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s director of research 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.”