Euro NCAP toughens testing protocols; adds ‘moving barrier’ crash test

Euro NCAP says it plans to introduce fresh elements to its testing procedure in 2020, including a new “moving barrier to moving car” frontal crash evaluation.

Described as a “key change” to the test protocol, the new moving barrier evaluation will replace the regulation-based moderate offset-deformable barrier test, which Euro NCAP has used for the past 23 years.

The organisation says this new 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”. Interestingly, the test will furthermore see the adoption of what Euro NCAP calls the “world’s most advanced” mid-sized male crash-test dummy.

What other updates will be made? Well, adjustments will be made to the near-side barrier test speed and mass, increasing the severity of the evaluation. Euro NCAP will also for the first time evaluate far-side impact protection, focusing on driver protection and the “potential interaction between driver and front seat passenger”.

In addition, new “challenging test scenarios” will be added to rate autonomous emergency braking technology (for both other cars and “vulnerable road users” such as pedestrians and cyclists), including reversing situations and turning at a crossing. Euro NCAP says it will also take “the first step” to evaluate driver status monitoring systems.

In addition, new rules to promote better post-crash safety have been developed, with automakers set to be rewarded “when rescue information is accurate and easily available”.

“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,” Euro NCAP said.

“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,” the organisation added.

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CAR magazine