As part of its new Road Map 2025, Euro NCAP has started laying the foundations for safety assessment of autonomous vehicles, with new safety tests that will provide first assessments for consumers. The new tests will also address accidents involving vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and will include assessment of collision avoidance technologies at junctions and autonomous steering.
While actively preventing crashes in the first place, Road Map 2025 moves the safety agenda further on, by addressing accident scenarios like junctions where pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are most likely to be killed or seriously injured in collisions with cars. In the UK, 30% of all those Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) on the UK’s roads are Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs).
Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s director of research says, “We have concerns over the way car manufacturers name and market assisted and automated driving functionalities, with “auto” or “pilot” prefixes. People are looking for answers around how safe the new assisted and autonomous technologies are, and the Euro NCAP assessments and ratings will give clear information about how safely it operates, and what obligations the driver has around taking back control.”
The Road Map 2025 will challenge vehicle manufacturers to offer the best possible technology as standard in all segments, protecting not only car occupants but also increasingly addressing the safety of other more vulnerable road users. Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General, said, “The potential safety benefits of automated driving are huge. If we can eliminate human error, we should see road casualty numbers tumbling and many lives being saved. But there is a lot of misunderstanding, over-expectation and perhaps some suspicion, of a world in which cars can drive themselves. Our role will be to provide clear information to consumers about the degree of automation in a car and how safely that automation has been implemented.”