Table of Contents
Striving towards a Safer Driving Environment
With yearly changes in NCAP initiatives, a lack of common requirements exists from one region to another. While the same OEMs operate in multiple regions, usually with the same model of vehicles, different NCAP ratings are given. OEMs must comply with various rating requirements for the same vehicle. Considering that all regions of the world share the goal of creating zero fatalities from vehicle crashes, a global NCAP with a common set of safety requirements will help vehicles get homologated and deemed road-worthy across the world. This study looks at the NCAPs of Europe, the US, Japan, Korea, China, Australasia, and Latin America and the Caribbean region and draws conclusions and recommendations for global NCAP initiatives.
Global Level Need for NCAP
• The new car assessment program (NCAP) is considered a valuable source of information on the safety of all new vehicles, and also provides a means to compare the safety levels of different vehicles.
Region Level Developed Market
• While Euro NCAP places more emphasis on the development of collision avoidance technologies, the US NCAP and the Japan NCAP (JNCAP) focus on improving the safety evaluation criteria and crash-testing procedure.
Region Level Emerging Market
• Development of crash testing measurements and test dummies will be the primary area of focus for Korean NCAP (KNCAP), while the Australasian* NCAP (ANCAP) and China NCAP (C-NCAP) aim to educate consumers on the importance of vehicle and pedestrian safety.
Region Level Growth Market
• Latin NCAP is a safety program that was recently instituted to ensure safety in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The market in this region is highly dominated by 1-star vehicles, and the safety program focuses on improvement of crash-testing procedures.
• In developing and emerging markets where vehicle growth is strong, support and development of the NCAP program is needed.
• Legislature is pushing regulations that enable consumers easy access to information such as vehicle crashworthiness.
• Several regions have instituted programs to evaluate the safety quotient of vehicles from various manufacturers through a systematic evaluation scheme known as NCAP that evaluates a number of new models to be released in a particular calendar year, and rates vehicle safety by primarily determining the crashworthiness.
• The safety ratings are obtained by gathering crash data from controlled crash tests and rollover tests.
• The NCAP initiative was first introduced in the United States in 1978, while Europe followed suit in 1997. The mission of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), European Commission (EC), and other regulations through NCAP is to reduce crash-related deaths and injuries.
• Japan, Australasia, Korea, and China have introduced similar nation-wide initiatives in recent times.
• Latin NCAP is a safety program that was recently instituted to ensure safety in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
• Vehicles with a rating of X stars indicate a high level of crashworthiness, whereas a 1-star rating indicates low crashworthiness.
• NCAP is now viewed as a valuable source of information on the safety of all new vehicles; it also provides a means to compare the safety levels of different vehicles.
The NCAP Current Scenario
Objective of NCAP Initiatives
Amending protocols will avoid and mitigate crashes of road vehicles.
Special crash test ratings will ensure safety of the vulnerable road users (VRU).
ESC and other life-saving technologies have witnessed very low take-rates when offered as an option; therefore mandates are required for any safety function that is proven to save lives.
Consumers are usually more willing to pay for infotainment and comfort and convenience features, rather than safety features.
Some OEMs offer certain safety features as standard fitment in some regions, but fail to do so in certain other markets so as to stay competitive on price.
In certain regions, consumers do not pay much attention to the star ratings from NCAP bodies when considering a new vehicle purchase.
Government’s intention to reduce fatalities has lead to development of new and innovative safety features for distraction-free driving.
Government and other legal bodies have made available comparative information such as cost-benefit analysis and safety performance across models and brands for the consumers.
Initiatives encourage manufacturers to improve the current safety features of new vehicles.
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