Euro NCAP will begin testing autonomous pedestrian safety systems from 2016 to help motorists make a more informed choice when it comes to safety.
The new section of the Euro NCAP (short for European New Car Assessment Program) safety test will involve three simulations, including adults walking and running into the path of a moving vehicle and a child stepping out from behind a parked car.
Autonomous braking systems are meant to detect hazards and pre-apply the brakes before physically applying them in the event a driver is too slow to react.
The reliability of a system will be given a rating depending on how well it avoids hitting specifically designed crash dummies at speeds of up to 25mph. There will also be tests to see how the cars cope with reducing the impact of a collision at 25-37mph where stopping would be impossible.
It is thought these autonomous emergency braking systems (AEB) could prevent one in five fatal pedestrian collisions, which is a significant amount when vulnerable road users accounted for 26,000 road deaths in Europe in 2014.
Euro NCAP secretary general Dr Michiel van Ratingen said: “Although this technology is rapidly developing, it’s not yet possible to prevent every collision with a pedestrian in the real world.
“But vehicles designed to perform well in these tests will be better equipped to prevent these thousands of needless deaths and life-changing injuries on our European roads.
“Therefore, from 2016 the rating will give credit to those vehicle models that offer this capability. At the same time, these tests will make it possible for new car buyers and fleet operators to make an informed choice.”
Autonomous emergency braking is already a regular fixture on a number of cars including the Ford Mondeo, Jaguar XE and the Volvo V40.
We decided to put Volvo’s system to the test using real crash dummies a while back.