- Published in Q&A.
EuroNCAP will phase-in autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems into its ratings schemes from 2014: how will this work, and what will happen to vehicles which would otherwise get five stars but which do not feature the technology?
EuroNCAP targets three different AEB systems for inclusion into the rating: low-speed and high-speed avoidance of rear-end crashes, and pedestrian detection. The first two systems will become part of the overall rating in 2014, the last one in 2016.
Low-speed systems will be added to adult occupant protection (AOP) and will sit alongside the whiplash assessment. The car would have to have a good score on the seat to be eligible for points for AEB. This is to avoid a trade-off between passive and active safety inside AOP. Also, we only will test the low-speed system if the system is series-fitted.The functionality of the system itself will be tested in one scenario: approaching a stationary target.
High-speed will be added to safety assist (SA) as these cover more general types of serious injuries and fatalities. To be eligible for scoring, it must be fitted at least on 50% of volume sales in EU-27 and that will increase to 100% (series) in 3 years. The functionality will be tested in three scenarios: stationary, approaching a vehicle travelling at constant speed, and approaching a vehicle that is braking. The assessment includes warning and braking; scoring will focus on avoidance and mitigation of crash speed.
The thresholds in AOP and SA for 2014 will, strictly speaking, not require that both AEB system must meet the above requirements to achieve 5 stars. However, the target is more easily achievable if it does. This situation is changing after 2014, where eventually the 5 stars is reserved for cars with AEB, particularly in 2016 when the pedestrian detection technology will be added to the pedestrian protection assessment.
Does Euro NCAP expect AEB to be mandated in the US or Europe more rapidly than ABS or ESC were?
AEB – on passenger cars – will be driven mostly by consumer programmes rather than legislation. Besides Euro NCAP, IIHS, US NCAP,KNCAP, ANCAP all have announced inclusion of AEB technology into their respective rating schemes. For legislation, the costs versus benefit for some AEB systems is not yet good enough; in other words prices can be rather high for this equipment. Consumer demand can significantly change this is in the years to come.
What does Euro NCAP think of systems such as the one in the new Mercedes A-Class? These warn drivers of the impending collision, and prepare the brake system for optimum performance, but do not apply the brakes.
EuroNCAP has awarded collision prevention assist in 2011 for its potential to help drivers avoid or mitigate longitudinal accidents.The system provides forward collision warning and adaptive brake assist, but no autonomous braking.
Such systems can be very effective nevertheless in many types of situations as they bring the driver back in the loop and support the braking action. However, In our upcoming tests, it may not be able to get as many points as a system that has all three stages.
If AEB becomes the next active safety system to be mandated in Europe, what technologies will you be focusing on after this?
Our next system is also AEB but focusing on vulnerable road users. In 2016 we will add incentives into the rating to fit these systems, and test them in normal daylight conditions on pedestrian targets. Looking ahead, it is not unlikely we will expand the assessment to include darkness. and detection of cyclists. Another technology that we will be looking for is lane keep assist technology.