Euro NCAP, an independent organization that analyses and assesses the safety levels of many of the cars coming onto the market, has tightened its tests with more demanding requirements in order to achieve the five stars. The new Toyota Yaris, that stands out for its central airbag in the front seats, was the first to achieve these long awaited five Euro NCAP stars for its high levels of safety.
The main objective of Euro NCAP is to assess the safety levels of cars so that users can be fully aware of the level of protection they offer. In particular, the organization values elements such as adult protection (driver and passenger), child protection, pedestrian protection and accident prevention technologies.
In 2020 Euro NCAP has tightened its testing and therefore it is not recommended to compare vehicles from previous years. The first to achieve the five stars with this renewed protocol is the Toyota Yaris (see here the results obtained).
It is, in fact, the the fourth generation Toyota Yaris. The vehicle in question has successfully passed the frontal impact test, a new test that has been incorporated in 2020 and replaces the one used since 1997. The car is the first to address the side impact injuries on the opposite side. Side impacts account for about a quarter of all crashes and, since it began, Euro NCAP has been testing the driver's side of the car. However, almost half of the occupants injured in side impacts are on the side opposite to the side that was hit.
NEW EURO NCAP DE 2020 TESTS
The organization has introduced a new frontal impact test to assess the vehicle's protection for adult occupants. It assesses the extent to which the car interacts with the other participants in the collision and how it protects its occupants.
In particular, the impact of the side barrier becomes stronger, with a greater vehicle size and at a greater impact speed. The stationary deformable barrier has been replaced by a 1,400 kg moving barrier that becomes more rigid as it deforms. Both the vehicle and the barrier are driven at a speed of 50 km/h.
For side impacts, this year includes an assessment of occupant protection on the opposite side and the interaction between the vehicle occupants during these impacts.
For the first time, an assessment was performed on the resources and adaptations made to facilitate rapid rescue and safe extraction after a collision.
The change made to the front and side barrier impacts will also influence the dynamic performance of child dummies and the assessment of child occupant protection.
The testing of autonomous emergency braking systems (AEB) has been updated. Three scenarios are now being evaluated:
- With the vehicle in front stopping completely.
- With the vehicle in front at a lower speed than the vehicle tested.
- With the vehicle in front braking at different distances from the tested vehicle. This system is also tested, for example, when turning at an intersection with oncoming traffic and when turning and meeting a crossing pedestrian. In short, the organization scores all those systems that manage to avoid a collision in all scenarios or that manage to significantly reduce the severity of the impact.
Euro NCAP continues to assess vehicles with systems such as seat belt reminders and is incorporated into "Driver Status Monitoring", which also includes systems to determine whether a driver is tired or impaired.
As we have already said, all these changes mean that it is not advisable to compare vehicles from different years, as the tests they have undergone have varied and therefore comparisons are not made on the basis of the same criteria.