In order, for consumers, to have a better understanding of vehicle’s safety
status, currently each of the NCAP ratings is applying the philosophy of an “Overall Rating”. In that way the information aims to be clearer, simpler and general and it will help to have a better way to compare cars.
However, although NCAPs assessment of car safety performance can be seen as being similar around the world, in fact each NCAP has its own peculiarities and assessment criteria. Talking about “overall rating” is like talking about the concept of a “car”; some people (the less informed) may consider that cars are all the same: one body, one engine and 4 wheels. Others will consider that each model has its own characteristics, and that we cannot put all cars under the same definition or performance category. A similar situation can be observed with NCAP programs: For instance, in every NCAP the overall assessment is given by a unique star rating, but the specifications and requirements in each protocol are different; and in the case of NCAP programs, differences in ratings may have significant consequences on the design of the vehicle’s equipment or structure.
In this paper we look at the differences in NCAPs around the world. The different protocols requirements and specifications used in each test will be presented and described for each NCAP program. Special attention will be made in looking at the current and future protocols with the new requirements added such as:
- new dummies
- new test protocols
- more focus on rear seat
- more and more active safety systems in the assessment