The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) updates its test protocols every two years. It is done in the hope of making cars safer with more stringent and tougher tests parameters as technology and cars themselves evolve. For 2020, Euro NCAP has introduced new crash test parameters for occupant protection, post-crash protection and help the advancement of driver assistance technology.
Euro NCAP has now done away with the offset-deformable barrier test which it has been using for over two decades. Moving forward, it has introduced a new Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier (MPDB) test. The test consists of the test vehicle being driven at 50kmph and crashing into a deformable barrier mounted on an oncoming 1,400kg trolley travelling at the same speed with a crash overlap of 50%.
The new test has been introduced to evaluate the protection of the vehicle occupants and also asses how the vehicles’ front-end structures contribute to injuries in the collision partner. The possible injuries that can be inflicted on the occupants will now be evaluated with the use of the world’s most advanced ‘THOR’ mid-sized male crash test dummy. The new crash test dummy is also a new addition to the safety assessment programme.
Euro NCAP suggests that side-impact crashes account for the second-highest frequency of death or serious injuries. The new parameter for the side-impact test include adjustments to the near-side barrier test speed and mass. This will increase the severity of the test. Along with this, Euro NCAP will also take into consideration of far-side impact protection – with the focus on driver protection and the potential interaction between driver and front passenger. The countermeasure Euro NCAP expects carmakers to use centre airbags to help improve their safety, which may eventually be a feature more common on smaller cars with the passengers sitting closer to each other.
Another change to the parameters is the inclusion of post-crash safety features that can play a vital role in crash survival. In collaboration with CTIF, the international association of fire and rescue services, Euro NCAP will develop new rating ruled that improve post-crash safety. Under the new guidelines, manufacturers will be awarded on the accuracy and easy availability of the rescue information. In addition, it will also take into account ease of extrication, electric door handles and automatic emergency call functions as well.
Currently, Euro NCAP has put its crash testing operations on hold due to the ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus. But is said to be resuming its operations in the upcoming months.
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