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Safety Testing Explained

Safety Testing Explained.

ANCAP safety ratings are determined based on a series of internationally recognised, independent crash tests and safety assessments – involving a range of destructive physical crash tests, an assessment of on-board safety features and equipment, and performance testing of active collision avoidance technologies.

From January 2018, all vehicles rated by ANCAP
are evaluated against four key areas of assessment:

A range of tests and assessments are conducted within each area, with vehicles required to meet minimum score thresholds for each star rating level.

Physical crash tests.

A range of destructive crash tests are conducted to simulate the most common types of crashes including frontal impact, side impact, run-off-road, rear-end and pedestrian strikes. The effect on adult and child occupants is assessed.

In all physical crash tests, dummies are used to measure the forces and likely injuries a driver, passenger or vulnerable road user such as a pedestrian or cyclist may sustain during a crash. The data gathered from the dummies is assessed, along with an inspection of physical vehicle deformation, on-board hazards and performance of in-build restraint systems, and scored determined for each respective crash test.

Explore the following six physical crash tests...

frontal offset test

full width test

side impact test

Frontal Offset Test

In the real-world...

The frontal offset test simulates a head-on crash - hitting another car of the same mass travelling at the same speed.

At our test centre...

40% of the car, on the driver’s side, makes contact with a crushable aluminium barrier at 64km/h. The test car has two adult dummies in the front seat, the rear seat has two child dummies – representing a 10 year and a 6 year old – both in appropriate child restraints.

Full Width Test

In the real-world...

The full width test simulates a head-on crash with another car of the same mass travelling at the same speed.

At our test centre...

Conducted at 50km/h, the full width of the vehicle front makes contact with a solid wall with no deformable barrier. The test car has two adult dummies – one positioned as the driver, and one in the rear outboard seating position. This test has been introduced to encourage vehicle brands to offer seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters for front and rear seat occupants.

Side Impact Test

In the real-world...

The side impact test simulates two cars colliding at 90 degrees.

At our test centre...

A 1,300kg trolley impacts the driver’s side of the test vehicle at 50km/h. The trolley has a crushable aluminium face to simulate the front of another car.

pedestrian protection

oblique pole test

whiplash test

Pedestrian Protection

In the real-world...

The pedestrian test simulates collisions in which a pedestrian is struck by the front of a vehicle.

At our test centre...

The pedestrian test is used to estimate head and leg injuries to child and adult pedestrians with head-forms and leg-forms fired at various test locations on the front bumper, bonnet, windscreen and A-pillars of the vehicle. These tests are conducted at 40km/h.

Oblique Pole Test

In the real-world...

The oblique pole test simulates an accident in which a car collides with a fixed object such as a tree or pole, at an oblique angle. Curtain airbags are particularly effective in reducing the chance of serious head injury in this type of crash.

At our test centre...

In this test, the vehicle is crashed at 32km/h and at a 75 degree angle into a fixed metal pole which is aligned with the driver’s head. The pole is relatively narrow, resulting in major penetration into the side of the car.

Whiplash Test

In the real-world...

The dynamic whiplash test assesses likely head and neck injury resulting from a rear impact crash.

At our test centre...

A seat from the test vehicle is mounted to a test sled which is propelled forwards to simulate a rear-end crash. These tests are conducted at a test speed of 16km/h with three levels of acceleration representing different crash severities.

Performance tests of active safety systems.

Vehicles are assessed for the presence and effectiveness of safety assist technologies – active safety systems that can help avoid or reduce the effects of a crash.

The safety assist technologies assessed include autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane support systems (LSS) and speed assistance systems (SAS).

Explore the following three active safety system tests...

autonomous emergency
braking (AEB) tests

lane support system
(LSS) tests

speed assistance system
(SAS) tests

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) tests

In the real-world...

AEB systems use camera, radar and/or lidar technology to detect the speed and distance of objects in the vehicle’s path and automatically brake if the driver does not respond in order to avoid or minimise the severity of a crash.

At our test centre...

Over 100 different AEB test scenarios form part of our assessment with a vehicle’s ability to autonomously brake at lower city speeds (AEB City); at faster highway speeds (AEB Interurban); at stationery vehicle targets; at moving targets; and at braking targets all taken into consideration. Vulnerable road users are also considered, with collision avoidance testing undertaken to encourage and determine the effectiveness of more sophisticated AEB systems, detecting and preventing or minimising collisions with pedestrians and cyclists (AEB VRU) - at daytime and at night.

Lane Support System (LSS) tests

In the real-world...

Lane support systems such as lane departure warning and lane keep assist recognise lane markings and alert the driver through audible, visual or haptic warnings if the vehicle is leaving the lane without indicating. Active systems automatically bring the vehicle back within the lane if the driver fails to respond.

At our test centre...

Lane support systems are assessed on an outdoor test track with the test driver intentionally leaving the vehicle’s lane in order to determine how the vehicle’s systems react and activate to prevent a collision with an adjacent vehicle or obstacle, or a resulting run-off-road crash.

Speed Assistance System (SAS) tests

In the real-world...

Manual speed limiters, speed sign recognition and intelligent speed adaptation systems assist the driver in managing appropriate speeds using on-board cameras and/or the vehicle’s map-based GPS location.

At our test centre...

The effectiveness different speed assistance functions are assessed including the vehicle’s ability to inform the driver of the present speed limit; warn the driver when the vehicle’s speed exceeds a set speed threshold; actively preventing the vehicle for exceeding a set speed; and actively preventing the car from exceeding the present speed limit.

Scores achieved in each physical and performance test feed into the respective area of assessment. The overall star rating of a vehicle is limited by its lowest performing area of assessment. Learn more at Safety Ratings Explained.

Meet the ANCAP family.

Dummies provide vital insight into what happens in a crash.

The crash test dummies used by ANCAP have experienced
hundreds of crashes first-hand. Their role is critical – they
provide a picture of likely injuries in a crash.

A range of adult and child dummies are used –
both male and female.

ANCAP Hybrid Dummy

Hybrid III
(50th percentile)

Hybrid III
(5th percentile)

Two Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummies are used in the frontal offset test (driver and front passenger). These dummies are specifically designed to gather data from head-on crashes, and are particularly good at providing information on likely head and neck injuries. Chest, leg, knee and feet injuries are also measured.

Two 5th percentile female dummies are used in the full width frontal test (driver and rear outboard passenger). These lighter, smaller statured adult female dummies help to ensure that vehicle restraints (airbags and seat belts) work well with smaller occupants that tend to sit further forward and with different belt positions to the mid-sized male dummy that is used in other tests.

ANCAP WorldSID Dummy



The WorldSID dummy was introduced to the ANCAP family in 2018 and is used in both the side impact test (driver) and the oblique pole test (driver). The side impact dummy is somewhat different to the frontal offset dummy – it is specifically designed to gather side impact data, measuring likely injury risk to the ribs, spine and internal organs as well as chest compression.

ANCAP Q-Series Dummy

Q-Series (6 year)

Q-Series (10 year)

With the introduction of child occupant protection assessment from 2018, two child dummies now feature in both the frontal offset and side impact tests. These include a 6 year and a 10 year child dummy which are seated in appropriate child restraints, in the second row seating positions for testing. These Q-Series dummies are the next generation of child dummies which offer a more sophisticated assessment of smaller, younger occupants and allow effective injury risk ratings to be obtained and form part of ANCAP safety ratings.

Pedestrian headforms
and legforms

ANCAP safety rating assessments extend beyond occupant protection and also look at the likely injury effect on pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. Pedestrian dummies are used to assist vehicle manufacturers develop more ‘pedestrian -friendly’ vehicle designs. Full-scale dummies aren’t used in pedestrian testing, rather headforms and legforms are used. The adult headform weighs 4.5kg and the child headform 3.5kg. A Flexible Pedestrian Legform Impactor (Flex-PLI) is used and represents a 50th percentile male leg which is struck from the right side.

AEB Pedestrian target
AEB Cyclist target

Full-scale pedestrian and cyclist dummy targets are used in testing of autonomous emergency braking. The articulated pedestrian dummies (adult and child) – with moving arms and legs - simulates a pedestrian walking across the street. The cyclist dummy target is similar. The dummy is seated on a bicycle which is propelled to cross in front of the test vehicle. The pedestrian and cyclist dummies represent an average adult and a 7 year old child.

Every 15 minutes someone in Australia and New Zealand is killed or seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash.
That's around 40,000 adults and children every year.

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