Euro NCAP introduces autonomous pedestrian safety tests
10 November 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
Euro NCAP is introducing a new test that will assess how well vehicles autonomously detect and prevent collisions with pedestrians.
According to the European testing body, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists accounted for 47% of Europe's 26,000 road deaths, while for every death there are eight serious injuries and four permanently disabling injuries.
Analysis of real-world crash data from the UK and Germany suggests that the fitment of autonomous emergency braking technology could prevent one in five fatal collisions.
Euro NCAP said it will test vehicles' response to pedestrians in simulations of the three most common urban scenarios: adults walking and running into the vehicle's path and a child stepping out from behind a parked car.
To earn a good score in the test, vehicles will have to prevent collisions with specially developed pedestrian dummies at speeds of up to 25mph.
Between 25-37mph the tests aim to reduce the collision speed to less than 25mph, making the impact more survivable, it added.
The testing centre revealed it also plans to extend its assessment of AEB systems to cover cyclist collision simulations in the coming years.
According to Euro NCAP, most collisions occur when drivers fail to brake, brake too late or brake too gently, thanks to the driver being distracted or the pedestrian crossing unexpectedly.
"These new tests are the first in the world to assess highly automated vehicle features and driver assistance systems from the pedestrian's perspective," said Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP secretary general. "Many new cars now offer some form of AEB system that can help prevent car-to-car collisions, but only some are also able to detect pedestrians," he added.
A Euro NCAP spokeswoman told BusinessCar that the testing body hopes to announce the first results of these tests in February.
The spokeswoman also confirmed that the tests will count "for some points" within the pedestrian protection scores.