about the new Euro NCAP protocol for safer cars

Euro NCAP, the independent body responsible for assigning a safety rating to every car tested, has published several updates to its protocol, particularly regarding crashes.

Tesla Model Y is the safest car on the market according to Euro NCAP // Source: Euro NCAP

We regularly bring you a quick peak of the safety ratings of new electric cars. If today’s models are so safe, it is mainly thanks to independent organizations around the world. creating test protocols to emphasize vehicle safety.

In Europe, the organization in question is called Euro NCAP, you will definitely recognize it thanks to the final rating system based on a rating from zero to five stars.

What is Euro NCAP?

L’European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) is an independent international organization established in 1997, located in Brussels, Belgium. Its function to carry out impact tests in order to test possibilities in the field of passive safety of motor vehicles. It belongs to today justice of the peace in matters of security, and good results become important communication elements for manufacturers. A safe and secure car is obviously a better marketable car.

Since 1997, the Euro NCAP protocol has obviously evolved a lot, with new tests allowing one or another technology to be highlighted. The biggest changes happened in 2018 a complete redesign of the test protocol to account for the new driving aids. It is for this reason that Dacia Spring and Renault Zoé received very poor ratings.

These tests are also used by manufacturers to identify various areas for improvement. The Euro NCAP organization has presented a new update to the test protocol, as well as its future strategy for the evolution of this protocol. “Vision 2030” plan.

Soon the vehicles will be judged more seriously

Among the main changes, the arrival of a new protocol for driving vehicles, with a more complex set of tests than in the past. It is tested to shed light on the behavior of assistive devices in everyday life situations, for example on motorways or on busy roads. And in less common situations, for example, during automatic emergency braking when avoiding an obstacle on the road or during a sudden unexpected deceleration.

Euro NCAP goes even further, because in the coming months the organization will actually test certain aids, tests that will allow you to reproduce situations that are very difficult to establish in “real life” to know how the car can react. This new phase of testing will allow engineers, for example, to understand the limits of many active or passive systems before they are tested.

Better protect vulnerable users

The safety of residents is good, and so is the safety of other users. Distraction can be deadly, but not just for the driver. Pedestrians and cyclists are particularly vulnerable.

It is for this reason that the Euro NCAP organization will bring innovations to its protocol with the arrival of more stringent tests. automatic recognition systems of pedestrians or cyclists on the road. This safety equipment is now almost mandatory in the standard equipment of a car, and not equipped with it immediately gets a very bad note.

Due to the lack of driving aids, Dacia Spring recently scored one star from the new Euro NCAP protocol // Source: Euro NCAP

Differentiate between male and female body type

There will also be some changes in the mannequins used. Until now, it was a “standard” mannequin of the same weight and the same height, and the physiognomy of a man. As a result of research that began in Sweden in 2009, scientists found that women are more seriously injured in car accidents than men, and thus have a higher risk of death, due to their different morphology.

It is for this reason The European institution will soon introduce models of different genders in test instructions and will develop special research to provide directly to builders.

Connectivity will also play a key role in security

As you know, if you follow automotive news closely, cars are increasingly connected and will become increasingly connected. For example, Renault recently announced that it is expanding its partnership with Google to develop technologies along these lines, among other things.

It is for this reason and to provide users with independent and “safe” information that Euro NCAP will present in its test protocol: Essay on V2V, V2I and V2X communication systems (transport vehicle, road vehicle, all-around vehicle).

These technologies are still very new and not installed in all new cars, but several electric cars are starting to get this type of technology, for example, the Volkswagen ID.4.

Fire risks were also analyzed

We recently brought you a file on the fire risks of electric cars and why they’re so great. Indeed, electric car fires, although quite rare contrary to what we might think, are very persistent due to the energy density of their batteries.

So Euro NCAP will now take into account several parameters and providing feedback to builders on the criteria analyzed and opportunities to minimize fire riskat the same time, a special protocol will be developed for firefighters around the world on the dos and don’ts of putting out a burning electric or hybrid vehicle.

New protocol, step by step

In order to make better predictions, Euro NCAP may have access to certain technical data of vehicles under development in the future. Obviously, a few questions arise for manufacturers, especially regarding privacy, but access to this data will allow Euro NCAP engineers to flag certain areas for improvement even before the car goes on sale.

To summarize this new protocol step by step, which is due to arrive in 2026 and will be updated every three years to follow technological and technical developments of new cars, here is how it will work:

  • Driving safety tests;
  • Accident prevention (active safety);
  • Collision protection (passive safety);
  • Post-accident safety (data recovery and protocol to be carried out in case of fire).

A lot of new things until 2030

Euro NCAP is not going to stop there and is planning many evolutions of the crash test protocol until 2030, which you can read in their white paper and the calendar presented below. The goal is to succeed in preventing accidents, reduce their consequences when possible, and facilitate the work of emergency services.

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