NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) Overview and Trends

Global comparison of collision safety performance testing



 Automotive safety regulations went into effect in the U.S. for 1968 model year vehicles. In the beginning, automakers were reluctant to adopt safety features above the minimum legal requirement because they believed that "safety does not sell".

 The NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) was first introduced by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation) for 1979 model year vehicles. The goal of providing consumer information on the crashworthiness ratings for new vehicles was to make automakers compete for improved safety performance beyond the legal requirements by demonstrating superior crash performance under increasingly stringent conditions. Even while the laws were still in the proposal stage, crash testing was being conducted at speeds of 5 mph over the required crash test speed of 30 mph. Global automakers were shocked by the results at a press conference held in the courtyard of the NHTSA facility where they displayed those vehicles with poor safety evaluation results.

 NCAP were introduced in Australia (ANCAP) in 1992, Japan (JNCAP) in 1995, and Europe (Euro NCAP) in 1997. NCAP began to spread globally, but it took more than 15 years for automakers to compete for the NCAP safety performance ratings, and today carmakers emphasize that it is essential for them to receive good NCAP safety ratings. With the expansion of motorization in emerging countries, in 2011 the Global NCAP organization was created with the aim of spreading NCAP standards globally.

 Currently, NCAP are established in eight major countries and regions to evaluate occupant protection performance during vehicle collisions and in recent years NCAP have added preventive safety performance assessments for technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB). This report was compiled in collaboration with Mr. Kazuo Higuchi, and mainly focuses on the evaluation of collision safety performance, as well as topics such as how each country has introduced safety performance assessments and the differences in the evaluation methods of each country.


Global collision safety performance assessment testing and collision speeds

Program Frontal Collision Side Collision Rear Collision
Full-lap collision Offset collision MDB collision ** Pole collision
U.S. US NCAP 56km/h - 62km/h 32km/h -
IIHS* - 64km/h 50km/h - -
Europe Euro NCAP 50km/h 64km/h 50km/h 32km/h 24.5km/h
Japan JNCAP 55km/h 64km/h 55km/h - 20km/h
Australia ANCAP - 64km/h 50km/h 29km/h -
Korea KNCAP 56km/h 64km/h 55km/h 32km/h 16km/h
China CNCAP 50km/h 64km/h 50km/h - -
Latin America Latin NCAP - 64km/h - - -
ASEAN ASEAN NCAP - 64km/h - - -

* In the U.S., safety assessments are conducted by the US NCAP as well as the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety American Road Safety Association). The IIHS implements two types of offset collisions, one at an offset of 40% and the other at an offset of 25%.
** MDB (Moving Deformable Barrier) collision
Source: Created from test evaluation criteria for both NCAP and IIHS


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