all about the new Euro NCAP protocol, for even safer cars

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The independent organization Euro NCAP, which is in charge of giving a safety rating to each vehicle tested, has just published several updates to its protocol, particularly with regard to collisions.

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

We regularly provide you with a brief overview of the ratings new electric cars receive in terms of safety. If the current models are so safe, it is thanks in particular to the independent organizations that, in the four corners of the world, establish test protocols to highlight car safety.

In Europe, the organization in question is called Euro NCAP, an organization that you will surely know thanks to its final rating system that is based on a rating ranging from zero to five stars.

What is EuroNCAP?

L’European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) is an independent international body based in Brussels, Belgium, established in 1997. Its role is carry out crash tests to test capabilities in the field of passive vehicle safety. it’s about today security justice of the peace, and good results become important communication elements for manufacturers. A safe and secure car is obviously a car that can sell better.

Since 1997, the Euro NCAP protocol has obviously evolved a lot, with new tests that make it possible to highlight this or that technology. The biggest changes occurred in 2018, with a complete revision of the test protocol to take into account the new driving aids. It is for this particular reason that the Dacia Spring and the Renault Zoé scored very low.

Manufacturers also use these tests to identify various areas for improvement. The Euro NCAP organization has just revealed a new update of its test protocol, but also its future strategy in terms of the evolution of this same protocol via the “Vision 2030” plan.

Driving aids will soon be judged more severely

Among the main changes, there was the arrival of a new protocol regarding driving aids, with a much more complex series of tests than in the past. The aids are now being tested to shed light on their behavior in everyday life situations, such as motorway traffic or busy roads. But also in less common situations, such as avoiding an obstacle on the road or automatic emergency braking in the event of sudden and unexpected slowdown.

Euro NCAP goes further, since during the next months, the organization will virtually test certain aids, tests that will make it possible to reproduce very difficult riding situations in “real life” to find out how the car can react. This new testing phase will allow engineers, for example, to understand the limits of many active or passive systems even before they are put to the test.

Better protect vulnerable users

The safety of the occupants is good, that of the other users as well. Distracted driving can be fatal, but not just for the driver. Pedestrians and cyclists, to name a few, are particularly vulnerable.

Precisely for this reason, the Euro NCAP organization will bring an update to its protocol with the arrival of even stricter tests on automatic recognition systems for pedestrians or cyclists on the road. This safety equipment is already almost mandatory in the standard equipment of a car, and whoever does not wear it immediately receives a very bad grade.

Due to its lack of driving aids, the Dacia Spring recently got a single star from the new Euro NCAP protocol // Source: Euro NCAP

Differentiate between the body type of a man and a woman

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

That is precisely why the European body will soon present models of different sexes in their testing guidelines, and will develop special research to provide directly to builders.

Connectivity will also play a key role in security

As you surely know if you follow automotive news diligently, cars are more and more connected and will be more and more connected. For example, Renault recently announced that it was expanding its partnership with Google to develop, among other things, technologies in this regard.

Precisely for this reason and in order to provide users with independent and “safe” data, Euro NCAP will also introduce, in its test protocol, an essay on V2V, V2I and V2X communication systems (vehicle with vehicle, vehicle with the road, vehicle with everything that surrounds it).

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

Fire risks also analyzed

We recently brought you a file on the fire hazards of electric cars and why they were so spectacular. In fact, electric car fires, although quite rare against what one might think, are very tenacious due to the energy density of their batteries.

Therefore, Euro NCAP will now take into account several parameters and provide feedback to builders on the criteria analyzed and the possibilities of minimizing the risk of firewhile a specific protocol will be put in place for firefighters around the world regarding the do’s and don’ts of putting out a burning electric or hybrid car.

The new protocol, step by step

To better anticipate, Euro NCAP may have access in the future to certain technical data of vehicles under development. Obviously, several questions arise for manufacturers, particularly with regard to confidentiality, but access to this data will allow Euro NCAP engineers to pinpoint certain areas for improvement even before the car is placed on the market.

To summarize step by step this new protocol, which should arrive in 2026 and will then be updated every three years to follow the technological and technical developments of new cars, this 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).

Many new things for 2030

Euro NCAP does not intend to stop there and plans many evolutions of its crash test protocol by 2030, as can be read in its white paper and in the timetable below. The objective is to prevent accidents, mitigate them if this is not possible and facilitate the work of the emergency services.

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