EuroNCAP: Stricter criteria from 2026

EuroNCAP wants to make cars even safer in the future and will adjust its assessment criteria from 2026. Further updates follow every three years.

The EuroNCAP consortium (European New Car Assessment Programme) is committed to vehicles that are becoming ever safer. The coalition of various European transport ministries, automobile clubs and insurance associations based in Brussels has now rolled out its new agenda.

Taking new technologies more into account

In order to be able to adequately map the increasingly emerging assistance systems and autonomous driving technologies, the four key areas of the Euro NCAP assessment - which has been in force since 2009 - are adapted to the four different phases of a potential accident event: Safe Driving, accident avoidance, crash protection and post-crash safety. This change will take effect from 2026. In addition, EuroNCAP is starting to adjust the criteria again and again every three years. Virtual tests are also gradually being introduced, which improve the protection of vulnerable road users and provide evaluation incentives for a number of driver monitoring systems. ,

Key additions to the Euro NCAP program looking to 2030 also include:

  • Testing and evaluation of assisted and automated driver assistance systems
  • Evaluation of technology monitoring driver impairment and cognitive distraction
  • Requirements to further improve the real-world effectiveness of speed assist technology
  • Active safety testing that more accurately simulates real road environments and examines human-machine interface (HMI) design to ensure more robust and efficient driver assistance systems
  • Testing and evaluating safety functions enabled by V2V -, V2I and V2X communication
  • Passive safety tests paying more attention to gender equality and the aging driver/occupant population
  • Fire risk and thermal runaway assessment in electric vehicles and improved information for first and second responders
  • Promotion of best practices in the areas of vehicle safety and data access
  • EuroNCAP is also focusing more on test scenarios that evaluate the safety of motorcycles and scooters as well as that of heavy commercial vehicles, as these vehicle classes are disproportionately involved in accidents with fatalities and serious injuries. ,

    "EuroNCAP's achievements over its 25-year history are testament to the continued success and relevance of the program. Despite major safety developments in cars, our work is not done. EuroNCAP firmly believes it has the potential to to further improve vehicle safety over the next decade to support Vision Zero, which aims to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in traffic accidents," says Dr. Niels Ebbe Jacobsen, President of EuroNCAP. ,

    Conclusion

    EuroNCAP wants to further intensify its efforts to make vehicles even safer. From 2026, new criteria will apply, which will be readjusted every three years.

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