Euro NCAP Roadmap 2025. New car safety

Original author: EuroNCAP
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Recently I came across an interesting document, the author of which is the organization EuroNCAP - yes, the one that takes new cars, stuffs them with dummies, clogs into the wall-blocks and gives ratings for safety stars.

Today's trends in the automotive industry are associated with self-management, or at least, progress in this direction. And I personally, and maybe not only me, didn’t even think that the self-management system of a car can also (and should) be assessed from a security point of view, and for companies like EuroNCAP, this is still a problem.

Actually, an article about those new technologies of driver assistance, which Euro NCAP is going to take into account in its ratings. Some paragraphs that do not relate to driver assistance systems, I did not pass the translation, if you're interested - a link to the original article in the description.


The automotive industry will undergo major changes in the next 5-10 years, much larger than in the past 50 years, and this will especially affect the field of vehicle safety. Automated driving technologies, which are already actively developing, will transform the entire automotive industry. At the same time, it is expected that the transition of Europe to electric cars will accelerate, and by 2025 electricity sales will be 30 percent (UBS, 2017).

Euro NCAP acts as a protector of safe cars and supports automated driving technologies, increasing user awareness of the benefits of such technologies. Euro NCAP will also test automakers' products, figuring out what they actually sell to consumers on the European market. This means that as a standard for all segments and countries, it is recommended to use the selected best technology that will protect passengers of all ages, sizes and shapes, as well as ensure the safety of other road users.

Currently, 256 million cars are used in Europe, and this is the largest fleet in the world. In 2016, more than 14 million new cars were registered (ACEA, 2017). A-class cars and B-class cars traditionally dominate by the number of sales, while the middle class Sport Utility Vehicle is one of the fastest growing cars. More than 95% of new models from these segments are covered by Euro NCAP ratings, so it’s fair to say that Euro NCAP has a strong influence on the availability and development of car security system components.

Despite the high rates of motorization, roads in Europe remain the safest in the world: in 2016, EU-28 recorded only 50 fatal accidents per 1 million inhabitants, while globally, the figure is 174 cases per 1 million residents (European Commission, 2017). Car owners are victims in almost half of the cases. In this case, the proportion of victims among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are approximately equal. If not only fatal cases are considered, then about 135,000 people are seriously injured on European roads every year (European Commission, 2017). Most of the seriously injured are highly vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists), many of them are elderly.

In recent years, there has been an active proliferation of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) driver assistance technologies, especially such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and vehicle retention (Lane departure warning system LDW). However, the percentage of cars equipped with modern ADAS is quite low, which is not enough to significantly affect existing types of accidents or the number of accidents on the roads. This is especially true for ADAS systems designed to eliminate accidents with vulnerable road users. On the other hand, the proliferation and availability of mandatory technologies such as side-impact airbags, seat belt reminder (SBR) and electronic stability control (Electronic stability control, ESC), had a tangible impact on the number of fatal and serious accidents, including such as a vehicle coup. When developing long-term plans for the development of vehicle safety, it is important to take into account these changes and take into account the impact of emerging new technologies.

It is equally important to consider how the consumer mentality is changing and how it affects the automotive market. Last year, the average age of a car in Europe increased again to 10 years, which is two years more than ten years ago (ACEA, 2017). This can create problems for organizations such as Euro NCAP, which advocate for the widespread and timely introduction of important security technologies. The average age of a car buyer increases, as a result of an increase in life expectancy, and due to the fact that young people become less able or willing to buy a new car. Automakers are promoting their services, for example, through car sharing to attract young consumers to their brand.

To remain influential and relevant in this expanding variety, vehicle safety information must be attractive (and useful) not only for ordinary car buyers, but also for user groups (for example, car-sharing) and other more complex business models. The overall safety rating, as a simple but powerful tool for providing information on vehicle safety, will remain one of the main tools of Euro NCAP, however, in order to reach a larger circle of consumers, turn to a large number of other potential users, Euro NCAP will need to develop new and attractive info tools on security related topics.

It is expected that in the coming years there will be significant changes in the regulations and content of vehicle safety regulations. The European Commission announced the revision of the General Safety Regulations GSR 661/2009, which will include several new measures related to consumer testing today (European Commission, 2016).

Driver Monitoring (2020)

The cause of more than 90% of all traffic accidents is the "human factor". Among the most common causes of a driver error that caused an accident, we can single out two:

  • exceeding the permissible speed or driving under the influence of alcohol / drugs;
  • errors caused by the state of the driver - inattention, fatigue or inexperience.

Currently, technologies such as Speed ​​Assistance Systems (SAS) and Attention Assist have already been introduced and are being used, which warn the driver in critical situations and, ultimately, support the driver, correcting his behavior. In addition, the adjustment of intervention / non-intervention criteria for each driver can provide both earlier intervention and a reduction in the occurrence of false positives.

Euro NCAP will take into account the performance of driver monitoring systems, mark systems effectively recognizing impaired and unconcentrated driving, issuing warnings and taking effective measures, such as initiating safe avoidance maneuver, switching to quiet mode, increasing the sensitivity of electronic stability control ESC, turning on hold strip, speed etc.

The introduction of such assessments in the overall rating is planned in stages, starting with systems that have already entered the market. The assessment will be based on how accurately the condition of the driver is determined and what actions the security system performs based on this information. Aspects such as driver position monitoring can be added to future versions of the safety assessment protocol.

Automatic Emergency Steering (Automatic Emergency Steering, AES) (2020, 2022)

Existing autonomous emergency braking systems (AEB) have proven to be effective in preventing and mitigating the effects of many accidents, but automatic emergency steering systems (AES), although technically more complex, can also lead to a significant reduction in the number of accidents, in particular incomplete overlap of the vehicle - in cases of accidents involving vulnerable road users.

  • About 20% of fatal or severe injuries (Killed and Seriously Injured, KSI) were sustained in accidents due to loss of control or moving into the opposite lane (2015).
  • Frontal collisions with a small overlap make up about 15% of all automobile accidents, with a frontal collision associated with 25% of all automobile accidents (German Insurance Association, 2013).
  • For accidents involving vulnerable participants, the KSI indicator is 36% (2015).

The entire set of equipment necessary for organizing automated steering (automatic parking, electronic steering) is already available and freely sold. Many modern vehicles support emergency steering. However, at present there are very few fully-fledged automatic steering systems.

Despite some problems, we expect AES technology to enter the market in the coming years. We expect that the rules of R79 will include Emergency Steering Functions (ESF) from about 2020 (ECE / TRANS / WP.29 / GRRF / 82, 2016), which will facilitate the design and installation of AES. Euro NCAP will be able to stimulate the development of AES technologies and test its effectiveness by including it in the rating, based on dangerous situations for a number of road users and their interaction.

An example schema-description of one of the AEB tests. Exit pedestrian dummy on the road in front of a moving car.

Autonomous Emergency Braking (Autonomous Emergency Braking, AEB) (2020, 2022)

The main purpose of AEB technology is to identify and prevent an accident, to warn the driver, to give access to other systems to the application of brakes or automatic application of brakes. The technology was successfully introduced into the safety rating in 2014 and was tested for the first time in “backwards” and “cars in cars” collisions (Schram, Williams, & van Ratingen, 2013), and then for incidents at a crosswalk (Schram, Williams , & van Ratingen, 2015). The performance of an AEB system depends on the type and complexity of the sensors used. More and more manufacturers add additional sensors and combine several types of sensors together to cover new and more complex accident scenarios.

Euro NCAP expects AEB technology to continue to develop and therefore has identified three priority areas in which the rating scheme will be updated:

  • Accidents "in the rear" or "backing" - usually occur at low speeds, in access areas and parking lots. Recent studies by German insurers indicate that up to 17% of collisions between pedestrians and cars with injury occur at the back of the car. The majority of victims (63%) were elderly, while children under the age of 12 accounted for 6% (German insurers, 2017). It is estimated that throughout Europe the number of seriously injured pedestrians in such accidents amounts to 1,400 people per year. A driver assistance system that recognizes the presence of people behind the vehicle and automatically initiates braking or prevents acceleration has a significant potential to prevent accidents (German insurers, 2010). Given the work,
  • Intersection and turn maneuvers that occur at intersections have an increased risk of collisions between vehicles, vehicles and pedestrians. As a rule, a “crash crossing” occurs due to a passage through a red light, a lack of sufficient visibility, driver negligence or speeding. Corner crashes are often caused by negligence or lack of visibility of oncoming traffic when turning left or right. In the case of intersections where the car’s speed is relatively low, or when cornering, AEB can effectively prevent accidents. AEB performance testing will include recognition tests for cars, pedestrians, bicycles and two-wheeled vehicles (Powered-two-wheeler, PTW), the verification will begin in 2020.
  • The main scenarios. Evaluation of the joint operation of the steering and braking in the lane to prevent an accident with other road users (cars, PTW, pedestrians) is foreseen to be introduced from 2022 (see also EAS).

V2X (2024)

V2X communication, which includes both data exchange between vehicles and with road infrastructure, has the potential not only to increase safety, but also to improve transport efficiency. Examples of safety related functions include the ability to transmit and receive signals such as "Emergency braking lights", "Motorcycle approaching" or "Road work ahead." To provide an advantage over conventional onboard sensors, the V2X must detect the occurrence of a risk earlier than any other sensor. This entails low latency requirements — a time delay, ensuring the safety of data transmission, the need to expand the visibility limits and localize data transmission.

In general, to address these problems, two approaches to communication are discussed: 802.11p, the standard available today and approved by the United States, and the new cellular-V2X (5G). Leading automakers, chip makers and cellular operators have created the 5G Automotive Industry Association (5G Automotive Association, 2016) to develop, test and use 5G systems in automated vehicles. The European Union expects that by 2020, 5G services will be fully deployed, although in fact it may take several more years for the final organization of the necessary infrastructure (European Parliament, 2017).

There is still no certainty regarding the V2X standard and the completion time, because Automakers do not consider the availability of V2X safety features as a priority for the European market. However, it is expected that by 2024 most of the technological issues will be resolved, and only that part will remain with regard to demand. Euro NCAP recognizes the potential safety of V2V and V2X technologies for car passengers, vulnerable road users and two-wheeled vehicles. To support the development of these technologies, separate parameters will be implemented in the rating scheme for V2X technologies, which will evaluate the corresponding safety functions.

Detection of the presence of a child in the car (2022)

Left in a parked car, even for a few minutes, a child has the risk of getting heatstroke and death. The mortality of children as a result of heat stroke in a car is lower than in accidents, but the nature of these completely preventable cases deserve special attention. The inability of the child to get out of the car on his own, combined with the poor tolerance of high temperatures, requires that children never leave their parents unattended in the car. Technological solutions are already available that can recognize a child left in a car and warn the owner of the car or directly emergency services if the situation is dangerous. Euro NCAP will encourage manufacturers offering such solutions as standard.

Standards updates

It is proposed to gradually update the performance evaluation protocols of the Speed ​​Assistance System and the Lane Support System to match the progress in increasing the capabilities of the systems entering the market. In the case of a speed support system, it is intended to take into account the operation of the traffic sign recognition functions, such as the “One-way”, “No entry”, “Stop” or “Give way” road signs. Stricter criteria have already been announced for assessing the LSS lane support systems, more attention is paid to the work of Emergency Lane Keep compared to the basic Lane Keep Assist. Further changes may include the addition of recognition of two-wheeled vehicles (Power Two-Wheeler) in advance scenarios or testing of work on sections of the road with turns.

Automated functionality

The development of passenger car management automation is likely to be fast, but evolutionary. No car yet offers full automation in all situations. However, early examples of Level 3 automation, allowing the driver to free themselves from driving in certain situations, are already entering the market. The main characteristic of current functions is the simultaneous automation of longitudinal (speed) and lateral (turns) controls, but this still requires that the driver controls their safe operation. Given the gradual development of technology, it makes sense to split the evaluation of automatic control by function, that is, to create separate audit scenarios for evaluating each individual technology.

Below is a list of cases for which a certain degree of support is offered or full process automation, or it is expected that automation will be offered soon, and Euro NCAP is interested in this:

  • Automatic parking
  • Driving around the city
  • Driving on the highway
  • Driving in traffic
  • Driving on the motorway

In some systems, automation can significantly increase security; in others, less. In the future, there may be reasons for combining some of the ratings into a single “Automated Driving” rating, which would take into account the results of the joint work of individual systems and their contribution to overall safety.

Tests and evaluation

Considering that some security systems have already entered the market before their testing procedures have been completed, Euro NCAP will focus primarily on informing consumers about the functionality, technical limitations and description of the human-machine interface (HMI) of these systems. Euro NCAP activities will focus on providing explanatory information covering some of the following items: Definition (for example, instructions, branding), Turning on the system, Activating the system (for example, setting up an autonomous cruise control, Autonomous cruise control, ACC), Operation (functional testing systems such as AEB, SAS, etc.) Work without driver participation (for example, cornering, speed change, braking or steering), Deactivation (automatic deactivation, for example,

In addition, with regard to the man-machine interface HMI, Euro NCAP will analyze the understanding of drivers of information provided by the automaker, as well as analyze the behavior of security systems, from the point of view of ensuring correct use. At first, the interaction will be assessed subjectively, based on the opinion of experts conducting technical tests and information from selected users. For these purposes, standardized protocols and procedures for evaluating experts and users will be developed in the near future.


The first time, the automated driving assessment will be stored separately from the standard Euro NCAP star rating. A separate gradation scheme will be proposed with a simple description of the systems safety levels. Euro NCAP is planning a phased approach, which at first will focus on Continuous Assistance systems, in particular, support systems on highways and in traffic jams. Probably, these estimates will be implemented even before the beginning of the validity of the roadmap described - as early as 2018/2019.

Information Security

As cars become increasingly dependent and tied to exchanging data over the Internet, they are becoming increasingly vulnerable to hacking and cyber attacks. There have already been cases where some vehicles have been remotely controlled, which causes concern, since the presence of such vulnerabilities can be maliciously exploited and this jeopardizes safety. In other words: a system that is not protected from information attacks is insecure.

Information security, in its essence, is not directly related to Euro NCAP. However, technologies that increase information security may emerge, and Euro NCAP will encourage them, thereby informing consumers that vehicles using these technologies are safer. In this case, if it turns out that these systems are easy to hack and undermine the safety of driving, the credibility of the Euro NCAP rating will also be undermined.

Work continues on the development and revision of the ISO 26262 standard Automotive Functional Safety (Automotive Functional Safety), and the unification of the ISO (21434) and SAE (J3061) working groups has begun to develop the Automotive Cyber-Security Standard. This standard will contain a description of the processes that ensure information security, which will help companies ensure the information security of vehicles throughout the entire product life cycle. At the same time, this topic is discussed in the UN Task Force on Cybersecurity at OTA within the framework of the WP29 / ITS-AD group (Informal Working Group on Intelligent Transport Systems - Automated Driving (ITS / AD), 2017).

Euro NCAP will continue to monitor how these standards and regulations are developing and how the automotive industry reacts to this. Observing these standards, Euro NCAP will be able to demand a demonstration of only a minimum level of information security from the vehicle manufacturer.

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