As of January 1, ANCAP will fully adopt the testing conducted by EuroNCAP which will include greater focus on areas like autonomous emergency braking.

LOCALLY, ANCAP has tended to use Euro NCAP test results as ‘inspiration’ but it will now follow along with them to the letter and will also run its own testing program along the same lines as EuroNCAP. It means, for the first time, there will be harmony across the results.

ANCAP will continue to conduct its own crash tests in some cases but will also transpose Euro NCAP results across to Australia more completely where there’s model harmony. But, it will be improving the way it measures its crash tests (via new trolleys and advanced creas test dummies) and adding, for the first time, performance testing of automated safety technologies such as autonomous emergency braking and active lane support systems which will now contribute 20% towards a vehicle’s overall score.

And this means more pressure on car makers to potentially offer their full armoury of active safety equipment on vehicles sold here to be eligible for a five-star ANCAP rating. Recently, Kia felt the fury of ANCAP which showed its hand early be knocking some Stinger variants for not being available here with the same active safety features of other Stinger models. And that was despite the structural crash test performance of the vehicles being identical.

So, crash testing will now place additional weight on ‘distraction saving’ safety measures as one car company PR said to me recently… but, this is the way Europe has gone and now Australia is falling into line. And, you’d have to argue that given the quality of driving in this country, a push for greater fitment of active safety is a good thing.

To that end, the Federal Government recently announced it would be providing ANCAP with greater resources to meet the demands of the new testing criteria.

Announcing the additional funding for development, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said, “the ANCAP test program is expanding its range of crash tests and introducing performance assessments of automated safety technologies.

“A critical part of this is ensuring the local test laboratories that conduct these tests are fully equipped and ready to test to world’s best standards, with the broadening of our assessment processes seeing Australians offered safer new cars into the future.”

According to ANCAP’s new protocols for 2018, a car maker will be eligible for an optional star rating if their base vehicle has achieved a three-star rating but is available with a safety pack that includes things like AEB… but the rub is that the car maker must be able to ‘prove’ via its own forecasts that at least 25% of car buyers across a three-year period will tick the optional safety pack.

Question: Do you think car makers should be penalised if they don’t have active safety features fitted and the structural performance of vehicles is identical?


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