09 Nov 2022

2030 view sets pathway for an expanding focus on vehicle safety

Australasia’s independent voice on vehicle safety, ANCAP, together with European counterpart, Euro NCAP, have released their forward-looking vision to 2030 establishing the future focus for vehicle safety across the Australian, New Zealand and European new vehicle markets.

Key aspects being incorporated into existing ANCAP and Euro NCAP star ratings through to 2030 include:

  • Passive safety tests which give greater focus to gender equality and the aging population of drivers/occupants
  • Active safety tests which more closely simulate real road environments and examine human-machine interface (HMI) design
  • Testing and assessment of Assisted and Automated driving systems
  • Testing and assessment of V2V, V2I and V2X communication
  • Fire risk and thermal runaway in electric vehicles
  • Driver impairment and cognitive distraction
  • Cyber security and over-the-air (OTA) updates

Reflecting the technology shift to accommodate and encourage assisted and automated driving, the four key areas of ANCAP assessment – in place since 2018 – will also be adjusted to reflect the four distinct phases of a potential crash event: Safe Driving; Crash Avoidance; Crash Protection; and Post-Crash Safety. This change will take effect from 2026, with ANCAP and Euro NCAP moving to a three-year protocol update cycle^.

ANCAP and Euro NCAP will also explore expansion into assessment of additional vehicle types, with a view to assessing the active safety capability of motorcycles and motor scooters (‘powered two wheelers’) and heavy goods vehicles.

“This is a milestone day for vehicle safety,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Carla Hoorweg.

“From ANCAP’s very beginning in the 1990s, it was our aim to encourage improvements in vehicle safety, and that keen pursuit continues.”

“The release of the 2030 future view establishes the key testing and assessment focus areas for the industry – both for our existing automotive industry stakeholders, and for a new cohort of industry stakeholders that have not previously engaged in the NCAP process,” Ms Hoorweg said.

“The move to explore assessment of medium and heavy trucks is a notable shift and seeks to address the overrepresentation of these vehicles in road fatalities and serious injuries.”

“For our existing star rating program, the evolutionary shift in our assessment pillars acknowledges the important role assisted and automated technologies will play in reducing road-related fatalities and serious injuries among light passenger vehicles,” added Ms Hoorweg.

Conveying the close collaboration of the two safety organisations, Euro NCAP Secretary-General, Michiel van Ratingen said, “In support of Vision Zero, ANCAP and Euro NCAP’s non-regulatory influence continues to hold the potential for further improvements in vehicle safety throughout the next decade. By developing timely voluntary standards for advanced safety technology, we can act as a catalyst for accelerating uptake and promoting best practice – not just for passenger cars, but also in the commercial vehicle fleet.”

“Significant safety improvements have entered the Australian, New Zealand and European vehicle markets over the past three decades as a result of ANCAP’s and Euro NCAP’s continuous drive to address the vehicle-safety-related challenges on our roads among the light vehicle fleet. What we’re working towards now through this future plan is to acknowledge the changing mobility landscape and the role ANCAP and Euro NCAP can play in further improving vehicle safety over the coming decade,” added Ms Hoorweg.

“Both the Australian and New Zealand governments are targeting zero road fatalities and serious injuries by 2050. ANCAP will play a key role in ensuring today’s vehicles are equipped to deliver on this objective.”

“The automotive industry continues to innovate and is already delivering safety systems that go beyond current regulatory requirements. By setting timely voluntary standards for advanced safety features and technologies, ANCAP continues to be the catalyst for accelerating uptake and promoting best practice across the passenger and commercial vehicle fleet,” said Ms Hoorweg.

A copy of ANCAP Future View on Testing & Assessment 2030 can be found here.

^ Previously a two-year protocol update cycle.

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Rhianne Robson
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