Euro NCAP adds Autonomous Emergency Braking assessment for 2014

Pedestrian protection thresholds become increasingly demanding



Weighting factors between areas of Euro NCAP In June 2012, Euro NCAP that assesses automobile safety in Europe, announced changes to its assessment items in 2013 and onward. Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist systems, said to contribute to increasing vehicle safety, are new assessment items in 2014. At the same time, the weighting factors of safety assist systems in rating the availability of advanced safety equipment will be increased from 10% to 20%. The child occupant protection protocol in 2015 and onward will include 6-year old and 10-year old child dummies using booster seats and the rear seatbelts to increase the back seat safety. Autonomous emergency braking for pedestrian protection will be added to the assessment items in 2016.

 Since Euro NCAP's new assessment scheme was introduced in 2009, the safety requirements have become more challenging, step by step, through 2012. The total rating system is designed so that high overall score can be obtained only when a vehicle gets high ratings in four areas including adult occupant protection (AOP), child occupant protection (COP), pedestrian protection (PP) and safety assist (SA). The overall rating scores for the highest five-star rating and the threshold in each area have been raised in steps. The five-star threshold for PP, in particular, has been increased substantially from 25% to 60%. The crash test results from 2012 suggest a significant increase in the models with 60% or greater rating in PP area and indicate that OEMs have been making special efforts to improve the PP performance of their cars.

 In addition to conducting crash tests, Euro NCAP is presenting "NCAP Advanced Rewards" to distinctively advanced driver assist systems to spread automotive safety technologies to consumers in a more easy-to-understand manner. In 2012, such rewards were presented to autonomous emergency braking systems, lane keeping assist systems, secondary collision avoidance systems, pre-crash seatbelt systems, autonomous emergency call systems, etc. Quite a number of them, such as the autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assist systems, are added to the list of assessment items.

Related Reports: The future of car-mounted camera-based systems (Jan. 2013)
Equipment on new European models (1) (Oct. 2012), (2) (Oct. 2012)

Changes to Euro NCAP assessment scheme in 2013 onward

 In June 2012, Euro NCAP disclosed changes to its assessment scheme effective in 2013 and onward. Regarding the weighting in each safety area, the AOP factor will be decreased from 50% to 40% in 2014 and the SA factor will be raised from 10% to 20% to reflect the increased importance of the safety assist area in which the advanced safety equipment fitment is assessed.

 Regarding the five-star thresholds, the SA threshold will be raised from 60% in 2012 to 65% in 2013 and to 70% in 2015.

 The "autonomous emergency braking system" and "lane keep assist system" are being added in the list of assessment items in 2014 under SA area. A new addition in AOP area in 2015 includes new criteria that take into account the broad range of occupants' physique. Additional tests will be conducted according to the new criteria with smaller dummies. Regarding COP area, tests will be conducted with 6-year old and 10-year old child dummies on booster seats in the back row and with the rear seatbelt fastened. Conventionally, COP tests were conducted using child seats and rear seatbelts were not tested at all. The test method was changed to raise the level of safety in rear seats. A new item under PP area is the "autonomous emergency braking system for pedestrians" being added in 2016.

 In November 2012, Daimler announced its new safety technologies for the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles being launched in 2013. These include buckles that increase the ease of fastening rear seatbelts, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection function, and other features that comply with the changes to Euro NCAP requirements.

Minimum scores (thresholds) needed to obtain five stars in each area and overall rating (from 2012 to 2017)

Each necessary score is indicated in percentage to the highest rating.
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Adult occupant protection (AOP) 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80%
Child occupant protection (COP) 75% 60%
(Note 1)
75% 75% 75% 75%
Pedestrian protection(PP) 60% 60% 60% 65%
(Note 3)
65% 65%
Safety assist(SA) 60% 65% 65% 70% 70% 70%
Overall rating 80% 80% 75%
(Note 2)
75% 75% 75%
Source: Euro NCAP Rating Review 2012.6
(Notes) 1. The COP threshold is reduced to 60% in 2013 to give a one-year exemption for cars that require redesigning to meet the change to assessment including Child Restraint System.
2. The five-star threshold in 2014 is reduced to 75% because of the additional assessment items under each area.
3. It has been proposed to increase the PP threshold from 60% to 65% in 2015 and a decision will be made in 2013 when more details about the protocol changes and their respective impact will be available. Therefore, only reference values are provided for 2016 and 2017.


Assessment items being added in 2013-2016 (see a separate table about AEB: Autonomous Emergency Braking)

2013 COP * CRS (Child Restraint System) assessment protocol was updated.
SA * Availability of SAS (Speed Assist System) is rated in place of SLD (Speed Limitation Device) (Note 1).
* Mandatory fitting of ESC (Electronic Stability Control) for all new vehicles
2014 AOP * Rear seat static whiplash assessment in addition to the front static and dynamic assessment (Note 2)
* AEB City (low speed) will be added.
SA * New fitment requirements for LDW/LKD (Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist) systems.
* Additional assessment of AEB Interurban (mid to high speed)
2015 AOP * Introduction of a new protocol for assessing safety performance taking into account a wide range of an occupant' physique, which will include tests with shorter, lightweight occupants (small female dummies).
COP * Tests with 6-year old and 10-year old child dummies (Q6/Q10+ child dummies) (Note 3).
2016 PP * Addition of AEB Pedestrian rating (AEB and pedestrian detection)
(Notes) 1. SAS (Speed Assist System) is broader in terms of functionality than the conventional SLD (Speed Limitation Device). It includes MSA (Manual Speed Assistance) that allows the driver to set speed limits, SLIF (Speed Limit Information Function) of the vehicle to recognize and inform the driver of speed limits along the road, and ISA (Intelligent Speed Assistance) that combines the above two functions for setting speed limits by the system.
2. Dynamic whiplash assessment includes seat and headrest dynamic performance in rear-end collision tests. Static assessment is rated based on the geometric shapes of the seat, size and shape of the headrest, the distance from the occupant's head, etc.
3. Tests were conventionally conducted using 18-month and 3-year old child dummies placed in child seats of the ISOFIX type and the rear-seat seatbelts were not tested. From 2015 and on, tests will be conducted with 6- and 10-year old child dummies placed in booster seats in the rear row with the rear-seat seatbelts fastened. This will encourage manufacturers to use advanced technologies, such as the pre-tensioner used in the front seats, in the rear seats as well.

AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking system) added to assessment items
Present market
availability of AEB
 AEB test data indicates that the AEB reduces accidents by up to 27%, however, its fitment ratio is still low. According to a survey result published by Euro NCAP in June 2012, EB is unavailable on 79% of the car models on sale in Europe and 66% of manufacturers do not offer an AEB system on any of their new car models.
Reducing fatalities by
half targeted for 2020
 Over 30,000 people are killed by traffic accidents in Europe every year, and the European Union aims to cut road deaths by 50% by 2020. Consequently, Euro NCAP has decided to add AEB assessments from 2014 with the hope that European authorities will require AEB as mandatory in the near future.
Adding AEB
for cars in 2014
 AEB City is a system designed to prevent low-speed rear-end collisions at junctions and roundabouts (accounting for approximately 26% of all crash accidents). A typical system exemplified by Euro NCAP uses laser radar, mounted at the top of the windscreen, to monitor the road 6 to 8 meters ahead when running at speeds up to 20km/h. When it detects an obstacle, the system pre-charges the brakes and, if the driver does not react, the car will automatically apply the brakes to avoid the obstacle.
 AEB Interurban is a system designed to prevent high-speed rear-end collisions on a motorway. A typical system uses long-range radar to monitor the road 200 meters ahead when running at 50-80 km/h. When it detects a potential risk of crash, it alerts the driver to the danger. If the driver fails to react, the system will give another warning (light braking, seatbelt tug, etc.) and pre-charge the brakes. Should the driver still fails to react, the system will automatically apply brakes.
Adding AEB for
pedestrians in 2016
 AEB Pedestrian is a system designed to detect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as bicycles. A typical system will use a camera in combination with radar to identify if the front obstacle is a pedestrian or not and determine the potential risk of hitting. In the event of potential risk, the system automatically applies brakes and also issues a warning. Certain newly-developed systems use infrared that operates in dimly-lit road conditions.

Source: Euro NCAP Press Release 2012.6.13, Euro NCAP Rating Review 2012.6


M-Benz S-Class slated for launch in 2013 fully compatible with Euro NCAP's additional assessment items

Increased safety
in the rear seats
 When the rear door opens, the rear seatbelt buckle automatically moves 70 millimeters upwards and the insertion slot is illuminated for a greater ease of fastening. When fastened, the seatbelt buckle returns to the original position to eliminate any belt slack in the area of pelvis and thorax. The active seatbelt buckle is integrated in the PRE-SAFE safety system. When a potential danger is detected, the buckle is retracted by 40 millimeters to increase the belt tensioning by up to 80 millimeters including the length increased by the conventional pre-tensioner. The active seatbelt buckle is supplied by TRW.
AEB with pedestrian detection BAS PLUS
 The system uses stereo cameras and radar sensors to monitor the road ahead and detect any obstacles including pedestrians. In the event of an impending crash, the system alerts the driver by sound and light to apply brakes. If the driver fails to react, the car automatically applies brakes. The system is capable of pedestrian detection when the car is running at speed up to 72km/h and the crash avoidance function is activated at speed up to 50km/h. The system is supplied by Continental.



Euro NCAP: Most challenging requirements for pedestrian protection adopted by 2012

Euro NCAP: Minimum scores of each area required for 5 stars Euro NCAP's overall safety rating system was first introduced in 2009. Since then, the system requirements have step by step become more challenging and the final step was completed in 2012. The rating system applies to four main areas: Adult Occupant Protection (AOP), Child Occupant Protection (COP), Pedestrian Protection (PP) and Safety Assistance (SA). Each car model is evaluated under those four areas and their scores are calculated as weighted averages and the overall result represented by stars. This means the highest rating is not rewarded unless all protection requirements are met in an ideally balanced fashion.

 The overall scores worthy of the maximum five-star rating were raised under the new rating system in steps from 2009 to 2012 (70%→75%→80%). The thresholds for each area required for the five-star rating were also raised. Among the four areas, the threshold for PP was raised substantially from 25% in 2009 to 40% in 2010 and to 60% in 2012.

 As a result, the number of models scoring over 60% in PP rose from only 12 (23%) among the 53 models tested in collision tests conducted in 2011 to 24 models (67%) among the 36 models tested in 2012. This suggests that OEMs are striving to increase the PP performance of their cars.

Collision test results of 26 models announced by Euro NCAP (August-December 2012)

Overall rating AOP COP PP SA
Supermini Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 107/
Citroen C1
★★★☆☆ 68% 73% 53% 71%
Renault Clio ★★★★★ 88% 89% 66% 99%
Fiat 500L ★★★★★ 94% 78% 65% 71%
Ford Fiesta ★★★★★ 91% 86% 65% 71%
Small Family Car Audi A3 ★★★★★ 95% 87% 74% 86%
Kia cee'd ★★★★★ 89% 88% 61% 86%
Volvo V40 ★★★★★ 98% 75% 88% 100%
Mercedes-Benz A Class ★★★★★ 93% 81% 67% 86%
Opel/Vauxhall Mokka ★★★★★ 96% 90% 67% 100%
Seat Leon ★★★★★ 94% 92% 70% 71%
Seat Toledo ★★★★★ 94% 80% 69% 71%
Skoda Rapid ★★★★★ 94% 80% 69% 71%
VW Golf ★★★★★ 94% 89% 65% 71%
Large Family Car Volvo V60 Plug-In-Hybrid ★★★★★ 93% 83% 65% 100%
Small MPV Ford B-Max ★★★★★ 92% 84% 67% 71%
Dacia Lodgy ★★★☆☆ 72% 77% 44% 29%
Small Off-Road 4x4 Ford Kuga ★★★★★ 94% 86% 70% 100%
Mitsubishi Outlander ★★★★★ 94% 83% 64% 100%
Subaru Forester ★★★★★ 91% 91% 73% 86%
Large Off-Road 4x4 Hyundai Santa Fe ★★★★★ 96% 89% 71% 86%
Land Rover Range Rover ★★★★★ 91% 84% 63% 86%
Pick up Isuzu D-Max ★★★★ 83% 67% 51% 71%
Business and
Family Vans
Renault Trafic ★★☆☆☆ 58% 79% 28% 14%
Fiat Scudo/Citroen Jumpy/
Peugeot Expert
★★★☆☆ 59% 86% 26% 26%
Ford Transit Custom ★★★★★ 84% 90% 48% 71%
Hyundai H-1 ★★★☆☆ 55% 75% 34% 43%

Source: Euro NCAP Press Release 2012.8.29/11.28/12.12/12.19


Results of collision tests conducted from August to December 2012
Five-star rating
awarded to 83%
of passenger cars
 Thirty models were crash tested from August to December 2012 including vans and pickups. Among the 23 passenger cars tested, 19 (approx. 83%) received the five-star rating.
Models without
the five-star reward
 Toyota Aygo and its twin models, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107, only received three-star rating. Their basic model had earned a four-star rating in the crash test in 2005 but they stepped down to three stars for lack of standard fitment of side airbags and ESC. The car manufacturers promised that side airbags, ESC, front passenger's seatbelt reminder, etc., will be fitted before July 2013. This promise is noted in the test result announcements.
 Dacia Lodgy is another car that earned only three-star rating. It scored below average in all four areas. Its result was disappointing especially in PP with the low score of 44% whereas most other passenger cars scored over 60%. ESC is required in all new models in 2013 but Dacia has decided not to fit it in the Lodgy.
Highest score earned
by Volvo V40
 Volvo V40 earned the record high score in the Small Family Car segment in crash tests whose tests were announced in August 2012. In particular, the car earned the record high score of 88% in PP with the world's first airbag for pedestrians.
 The pedestrian's airbag is deployed at vehicle speeds from 20 to 50km/h. The system has seven sensors and, when it detects that the car's body contacts a pedestrian's leg, the hood becomes unhinged and the pedestrian's airbag starts inflating. The airbag forms a gap between the hood and hard compartments and, at the same time, the airbag covers the bottom part of the windscreen and A-pillar to mitigate the pedestrian's impact of crash. It takes 200 to 300th of a second from activation to full inflation.



Advanced safety technologies recognized under Euro NCAP Advanced Reward

 Starting from 2010, "Euro NCAP Advanced" honors car manufacturers that make available new safety systems in their cars. The system was introduced with the aim of encouraging car manufacturers to make available new advanced systems as standard features across their model ranges and conveying the automotive safety technologies and benefit to consumers. Systems having proven safety of significance are sometimes included in the list of Euro NCAP rating items.

 The recipients of the Euro NCAP Advanced rewards in 2012 included Volkswagen Group's autonomous emergency braking, lane assist systems, secondary crash avoidance systems and pre-crash systems, Ford's lane keeping assist systems, autonomous emergency call (eCall), and a programmable key system. Advanced systems such as the autonomous emergency braking systems awarded to Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Ford, and the lane keeping assist systems awarded to Opel and Infiniti are being added to the Euro NCAP test item from 2014.

Advanced safety technologies honored under Euro NCAP Advanced Reward for 2012

safety system
Model adopting
the system
Outline of the system
Pre-crash seatbelt
VW Proactive Occupant Protection/
Audi Pre-Sense Basic
VW Golf/Audi A3
(Optional equipment in most European countries, standard in some.)
[Function] At speeds above 30km/h, when the system detects driver's critical operation that indicates a potential crash, such as sudden acceleration and braking, the system retracts the driver and front occupant seatbelts to remove slacks. The system provides two levels of seatbelt tensioning, depending on the criticality of the situation. When lateral acceleration is detected, the system also closes the side windows and the sunroof to protect the occupants from a side collision.
[Benefit] It is estimated that, if a system similar to Proactive Occupant Protection is fitted in all cars in Europe, it could help reduce fatalities by some 4,000 and serious injuries by around 20,000.
[Limitation] The system works only at speeds over 30km/h. It does not offer full protection since the driver can deactivate protection provided at lower criticalities (protection at higher criticalities is always deployed).
Autonomous emergency braking system
VW Front Assist/
Audi Pre Sense Front
VW Golf/Audi A3
(Optional equipment in most European countries, standard in some.)
[Function] A rear-end preventive or damage mitigation system. Radar fitted at the front of the car monitors traffic up to 80m ahead, and alerts the driver in several steps of a potential rear-end crash. The information from the front radar is optionally combined with data from a camera mounted on the windscreen to calculate the likelihood of impact.
(1) When an impending impact is detected, the system issues an optical and an acoustic warning and pre-charges the braking system.
(2) If the driver does not react, the system applies light braking that serves as a haptic warning. It also prepares the brakes so that the necessary braking force is applied when the driver does step on the brake pedal to whatever extent.
(3) If the driver still does not react, the system autonomously applies braking.
At speeds up to 30km/h, the system detects moving or stationary objects and applies full braking. At speeds between 30kmh and 80km/h, there will be no automatic braking and the system will only issue a warning if it detects a stationary object.
If a moving object is detected when driving at speeds between 30km/h and 200km/h, the system alerts the driver and autonomously applies partial braking.
[Benefit] About 19% of people injured in traffic accidents in Europe are involved in rear-end accidents. Such accidents are said to be caused mainly by driver inattentiveness or distraction. If all cars are fitted with such a system, it is estimated that it will save some 130 lives and more than 2,000 serious injuries each year.
[Limitation] The system can be switched off by the driver. Once it is switched off, it remains off until it is reset. It requires a sufficient radar reflectance to detect objects in the front of the car. Its efficiency is lowered by contamination such as snow, fog and dirt.
Audi Pre Sense Front Plus Audi A6
(Optional equipment)
[Function] Same as, but more functional than, the Audi Pre Sense Front system described above. Two radars at the car's front monitor the traffic ahead and the information from the front radars is combined with data from a windscreen-mounted camera to calculate the likelihood of collision.
The system follows steps (1) and (2) of the Audi Pre Sense Front system above.
(3) If the driver fails to react, the system applies partial braking.
(4) If the system judges that crash is unavoidable, the system autonomously applies maximum braking to reduce the severity.
The system works at speeds up to 200km/h. The acoustic, optical and haptic warnings are active for speeds higher than 200km/h as well.
[Benefit] If a system similar to Audi Pre Sense Front Plus is fitted in all cars in Europe, it is likely to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 5,000.
[Limitation] Same limitations as for Audi Pre Sense Front system above.
Secondary collision avoidance system
VW/SEAT Multi Collision Brake,
Audi Secondary Collision Brake Assist
VW Golf/SEAT Leon/
Audi A3(Standard equipment on all versions)
[Function] If the airbag is fired in response to a primary crash, information is sent to ESC and the system autonomously applies brakes to avoid secondary collision or reduce the severity. This helps to prevent or reduce secondary damage when the driver is unable to respond in panic to the first crash and control the car accordingly.
[Benefit] It is estimated that 25% of the traffic accidents in Europe involve multiple collisions. It is estimated that, if a similar system is fitted in all cars, it will reduce fatalities by around 8% and serious injuries by about 4%.
[Limitation] The system will not work if the brake system is badly damaged in the primary crash.
Lane keeping assist system
Audi Active Lane Assist/
SEAT Lane Assist
Audi A3/SEAT Leon
(Optional equipment)
[Function] At speeds over 65km/h, the camera mounted at the top of the windscreen monitors the lanes ahead of the vehicle. The information from the camera is combined with data about the car's speed and direction of travel to detect potential lane departure. When such a risk is detected, the system applies a gentle steering correction by means of the car's electric power steering. If lane departure still cannot be corrected, the system will warn the driver through a steering wheel vibration. The system remains inactive if the lane departure is intentional as when the driver uses direction indicators.
[Benefit] It is estimated that, if a similar system is fitted in all cars in Europe, it will help reduce fatalities by around 5,000 and serious injuries by approximately 40,000.
[Limitation] The system can be switched off by the driver. Once it is switched off, it remains off until it is reset. The camera-dependent system is unable to detect lane markings that are obscure. The steering correction is limited since the corrective force is kept smaller than the driver's control on the wheel.
Ford Lane Keeping Alert Ford Transit Custom
(Optional equipment)
[Function] The camera mounted at the top of the windscreen monitors the traffic ahead. The system recognizes the lane markings by image processing. At speeds over 65km/h, if the vehicle departs from lanes unintentionally, the system warns the driver with vibration on the steering wheel. The system remains inactive if the departure is intended as when the drive uses direction indicators.
[Benefit] If a similar system is fitted in all vans and mini-vans in Europe, it is estimated that it will help reduce serious injuries by about 100 and minor injuries by around 750.
[Limitation] The system will not work properly if the lane markings are obscure or otherwise indistinctive due to dirt, snow or fog.
Ford MyKey Ford Fiesta
(Standard equipment on some versions)
[Function] A programmable key system designed for parents whose children have recently passed their driving tests and make a use of their shared family car. The parents use the "Admin" key allowing settings to be made to other keys which become programmed keys called "MyKey" to be used by the children. When the system detects that a programmed key is being used, it will issue audible seatbelt reminder and mute the audio system until the seatbelt is fastened, and prevents the parking aid system from being disabled. Optionally, the parents may program other settings on the "MyKey" such as speed limits, speed warning, preventing the Action City Stop and Traction Control from being disabled, etc.
[Benefit] Young male drivers between 18 and 24 represent some 18% of fatally injured drivers and front seat occupants in Europe. It is estimated that, if a similar system is fitted in all cars, approximately 4,000 accidents and about 150 fatalities could be prevented.
[Limitation] Only one choice of speed can be programmed with this system and this speed is slightly above the expressway speed limits in most countries. The system does not detect the road type on which the car is being driven. It is left up to the parents to decide whether the system will be used or not.
Ford SYNC Emergency Assistance Ford B-MAX
(Optional equipment)
[Function] One of the functions provided by Ford's SYNC infortainment system. The system makes use of the driver's mobile phone connected by Bluetooth to the SYNC system. When the car is involved in a serious accident resulting in the airbag deployment, the system makes an automatic call to the emergency services using the mobile phone. It automatically dials and sends a message stating that a Ford car has been in an accident and giving the GPS location.
[Benefit] It is estimated that, if a similar system is fitted in all cars in Europe, approximately 200 fatalities could be prevented.
[Limitation] The system can be switched off by the driver. Once it is switched off, it remains off until it is reset. The system will not work if the driver's mobile phone is not Bluetooth-connected.


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