Crash test experts Euro NCAP has added an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) test to its rating system.
The latest generation AEB systems are not only able to detect vehicles ahead but also in more challenging situations where pedestrians are at risk of being run over. By braking the car automatically, the system helps to avoid or mitigate a crash.
The Toyota Prius was the first car to undergo the new AEB test - and as it is fitted with ‘Toyota Safety Sense’ the car was able to recognised potential crashes with pedestrians, helping the Toyota achieve the first 5 star rating of 2016. By including this test as part of the safety rating, Euro NCAP takes the lead world-wide in encouraging advanced crash avoidance technology for all cars.
From this year, Euro NCAP will allow two separate star ratings for the same vehicle. By default, a base rating is generated for a car equipped with safety equipment which is standard on the model range throughout EU28. If the manufacturer wishes, a second rating may be published for the car fitted with a ‘safety pack’ which is available on all variants but may be sold as option or standard in some markets. This dual rating allows consumers to easily understand the safety benefit which can be achieved by the additional crash avoidance equipment offered.
The Suzuki Baleno became the first dual rating car, receiving 3 stars based on the standard safety equipment. Suzuki offers an optional safety pack ‘Radar Brake Support’ which includes an AEB City and AEB Inter-Urban system. With the pack included, the Baleno achieved 4 stars.
“The inclusion of AEB Pedestrian in the rating is a key milestone in the development of automotive safety that will help the proliferation of the crash avoidance technology into all segments of the market. At the same time, to provide accurate and clear information to consumers about the latest systems and what benefit they might bring, is becoming more challenging. The dual rating will simplify the choice for the safest car”, says Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General.