The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to add a crash-avoidance ratings based on whether a vehicle features multiple technologies, including forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and blind-spot detection, among others.
“[The updated New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) will offer] a new approach to determining a vehicle’s overall five-star rating that will, for the first time, incorporate advanced crash avoidance technology features, along with ratings for crashworthiness and pedestrian protection,” according to the Federal Register document.
NHTSA intends to implement the changes in 2018 beginning with the 2019 model year vehicles.
“[W]e believe that incorporating crash avoidance technologies into the star safety rating would help ensure that they are adopted more similarly to the crashworthiness tests; that is, faster and in more vehicles,” NHTSA states.
For the new technology, NHTSA recommends that stars be based on two criteria—passing the test and prevalence of the technology within a given model line.
“Thus, if a vehicle model passes the test for a particular technology, it will get half credit if the technology is offered as an optional safety system and full credit if it is offered as standard for the model,” according to NHTSA’s document. “The agency believes this is a reasonable approach because it allows the model to achieve a higher score if the specific vehicle being purchased has a particular technology, thus providing a benefit to that consumer, while incentivizing OEMs to more quickly expand the set of safety technologies available as standard safety equipment for particular model lines. We request comment on this approach, in particular concerning whether there are other ways to distinguish crash avoidance technology star ratings among different models.”
To read NHTSA’s proposed NCAP changes and offer feedback, click here. The deadline for comments on the proposed changes is February 16, 2016.