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ANCAP Star ANCAP - Crash testing for safety
Vehicle safety news and updates.
Edition 12, March 2015

Check out the latest edition of the ANCAPStar. This edition contains the latest ANCAP safety ratings and news from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

ANCAP is Australasia's leading independent vehicle safety advocate. ANCAP provides Australian and New Zealand consumers with independent vehicle safety information through the publication of ANCAP safety ratings. ANCAP safety ratings take into account the level of occupant and pedestrian protection provided by new cars through the conduct of physical crash tests and the assessment of collision avoidance technologies.

Our member organisations include all Australian automobile clubs, the New Zealand Automobile Association, Australian Federal, State & Territory Governments, the New Zealand Government, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation (UK).

Meet all of our member organisations.
Latest Media Releases.

18 March 2015
5 stars all round for new Ford Mondeo, Toyota Prius V and Lexus NX
ANCAP has today announced 5 star ANCAP safety ratings for three diverse models - the Ford Mondeo, Toyota Prius V and Lexus NX. These ratings extend across all current model variants.

10 March 2015
Global NCAP calls for all new cars to meet basic universal standards for crash protection and crash avoidance
International vehicle safety advocate, Global NCAP, has today issued a landmark report calling on manufacturers to democratise safety for all cars worldwide.

6 March 2015
Safety assist technologies will save lives: Euro report
A report released today by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) reveals that new safety technologies will play a major role in bringing down the numbers killed on European roads. A view that ANCAP supports.

5 February 2015
Suzuki Celerio better but still falls short
A 4 star ANCAP safety rating has today been released for the Suzuki Celerio. While the Australasian-spec Celerio features additional safety equipment to that of its European equivalent, its safety credentials have still prevented it from reaching the maximum 5 star goal. An ANCAP safety rating was also released for the Hyundai Sonata - 5 stars.

28 January 2015
Data sharing across NCAPs sees the latest model Honda Jazz score 5 stars
Independent vehicle safety organisation, ANCAP, today released a 5 star ANCAP safety rating for the current model Honda Jazz. This rating is of particular note as it is the first rating issued by ANCAP determined using crash test data from the recently formed South East Asian New Car Assessment Program, ASEAN NCAP.
Millions of new cars worldwide fail UN safety standards.
Millions of new cars worldwide fail UN safety standards.

Millions of new cars sold in middle and low income countries fail to meet the UN's basic safety standards for front and side impacts revealed international automotive safety watchdog Global NCAP.

Speaking at the UN in Geneva during the launch of its new policy report, Democratising Car Safety: Road Map for Safer Cars 2020, Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley said, "Safety improvements stimulated by legislation and consumer awareness campaigns in high income economies that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives are not yet systematically available for drivers and their families in rapidly growing lower income markets."

"For example, crash test standards introduced twenty years ago for cars sold in Europe are yet to be met by many new cars, and even brand new models, being sold today in leading middle income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This is entirely unacceptable. Manufacturers cannot continue to treat millions of their customers as second class citizens when it comes to life saving standards of occupant protection."

David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General and author of the new report said, "The drive for the democratisation of car safety must now be extended across all automotive markets worldwide. By 2020 at the latest we want all new cars to meet basic standards for both crash protection and crash avoidance. They must have crumple zones, air bags, and electronic stability control. Our new report sets out ten clear recommendations to transform global car safety as well as a realistic and affordable timetable for their implementation."

"Taken together these life-saving recommendations have the potential to prevent tens of thousands of avoidable deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year."

Download the report Democratising Car Safety: Road Map for Safer Cars 2020.
Vehicle safety high on the agenda for Federal and State Ministers.
Vehicle safety high on the agenda for Federal and State Ministers.

ANCAP test labs in Sydney and Melbourne have so far this year played host to the Federal and Victorian Road Safety Ministers. The Hon. Jamie Briggs MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development and the Hon. Luke Donnellan MP, Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety & Ports attended ANCAP tests in February and March, witnessing first-hand the immense scientific and technical expertise that goes toward the publication of each ANCAP safety rating.

Assistant Minister Briggs was present for the frontal offset test of the Toyota Prius V which scored highly in that test and all other areas of assessment. Minister Donnellan witnessed a side pole test - the rating for which will be published by ANCAP in the coming months.

Both Ministers showed a keen interest in the future direction of vehicle safety and collision avoidance technologies - echoing ANCAP's desire to see the availability of technologies, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), accelerated across the Australasian new car fleet.
ANCAP's broad market coverage.
ANCAP's broad market coverage.

2014 saw another strong year for new vehicle sales with approximately 1.2 million new light vehicles (passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles) sold across Australia and New Zealand.

Of the 1,080,000 new cars sold in Australia, 82% were models which held the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating. In New Zealand, 79% of the 122,000 new cars sold were rated 5 star.

ANCAP safety ratings are now available for 94% of the Australian, and 92% of the New Zealand new vehicle fleets.
SAT Explained: Adaptive Headlights.
SAT Explained: Adaptive Headlights.

Adaptive headlights are headlights that adjust their direction when turning corners / curves or on hills, providing enhanced driver vision at night time or in poor light conditions.

Most driving decisions are based on what the driver can see. In daylight, forward visibility is usually adequate however night driving, or driving in poor weather conditions, can mean obstacles are more difficult to see.

Adaptive headlights are intended to assist drivers in observing objects such as other vehicles or pedestrians / cyclists by giving them a better view of the road ahead to prevent accidents on curves or turning situations.

Normally, the headlights of a vehicle point directly ahead. Adaptive headlights however illuminate the part of the road which the vehicle is driving towards. This is done by swivelling the light cones to the inside of the curve as a result of steering input. This provides a better view into the corner, allowing earlier identification of possible dangers ahead.

To date, the Hyundai Genesis and Honda Accord rated by ANCAP last year are the only two models recorded by ANCAP to feature adaptive headlights as standard across all variants. This technology is optionally available on a range of other models including: For a list and descriptions of additional safety assist technologies, visit Understanding Safety Features on the ANCAP website.
Telematics – What can your car tell you about safety?
Telematics – What can your car tell you about safety?

ANCAP sees that the introduction of telematics to passenger and light commercial vehicles as an enormous step forward for vehicle safety.

Previously vehicle safety focused on passive safety features but the focus has now shifted to active collision avoidance technologies and other technologies that support safety through properly maintained vehicles and driver behaviour assistance.

A recent article by Paul Tuzson in Australian Automotive (Feb 2015) provides a fascinating insight into the rapidly developing world of vehicle telematics, and confirms ANCAP’s view of the potential of this technology.

Volvo pioneered telematics systems in its trucks some years ago and Isuzu has a similar system that can also be fitted to trucks built by other manufacturers. Systems that allow live tracking of delivery vehicles and long-haul trucks, and also gather operational and diagnostic data, are commonplace in commercial vehicle fleets today.

According to Mr Tuzson, telematics can provide much of the same useful economic and efficiency services to the private motorist as the systems do for fleet operators. The most obvious services include such things as finding the nearest and cheapest fuel, finding parking facilities, checking traffic conditions and finding alternate routes.

However, using telematics data to drive more efficiently and safely is a largely untapped area to date for the private motorist and, along with vehicle diagnostics and regular service schedules, has potential to make a huge contribution to efficient, safer motoring for all motorists.

Approximately 90% of crashes involve some form of human error. Factory and aftermarket telematics products that work to negate these errors are becoming readily available and it is now feasible for your car to tell you not only where you are going, but how safely and efficiently you are driving and how well it is operating.

Well maintained vehicles play a big role in road safety. Your car can now alert you to problems before they become critical. Does that noise you thought you heard mean anything? Why is there a safety alert suggesting your tyres or suspension need checking? Some systems can also facilitate a data flow between the vehicle and a workshop, allowing the driver to notify the workshop of an alert and the workshop to undertake a remote diagnosis of the problem.

Other systems are focused on driver behaviours. Smart keys allow operating restrictions to be placed on a vehicle (time of day, maximum speed). Intelligent speed alert systems determine the speed limit of the vehicle location and alert the driver if the vehicle is over the posted limit, or limit the speed of the vehicle automatically. These systems are already in use in the UK, Europe and the US.

Mr Tuzson predicts exponential growth in the interconnectedness of passenger vehicles. He notes that "the movement of people and things around the planet constitutes a virtually inexhaustible source of information for analysis". Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communications systems are examples of how this interconnectedness can improve road safety. These advanced systems allow vehicles to communicate with each other as well as with infrastructure and can provide drivers with information such as upcoming hazards, emergency vehicles and traffic light changes. Automatic emergency call systems are able to alert emergency services with a location when a vehicle has been involved in a severe collision.

The RACV, a foundation member of ANCAP, has recognised the immense value of telematics data on a broad scale and has released its Connected Vehicle system for gathering it. The RACV "will use the data to improve RACV Connect, future product development, advocacy programs and initiatives". Another approach is the smartphone based app called Safe Driver, released by AAMI, which monitors trips and driving habits.

Telematics already offers significant safety benefits for all vehicle owners. ANCAP believes its potential for the future is immense and, through its safety rating program, actively encourages manufacturers to 'reach for the stars' and include new technologies in their vehicles as soon as possible.

Read more about connected roads and cars on the Understanding Safety Features page on the ANCAP website.
Will ANCAP safety ratings increase beyond 5 stars (i.e. 6 stars, 7 stars and so on), or will 5 stars remain the highest ANCAP safety rating?

No. Rather than increase the number of stars awarded to a vehicle, ANCAP will maintain its 1-5 star rating scale with 5 stars remaining the maximum safety rating possible. The requirements to achieve each of the existing star rating levels however will continue to increase year on year. To encourage the early introduction of new vehicle safety features and advanced safety technologies - promoting continuous improvement in vehicle safety - ANCAP has been progressively raising the bar since 2011.

To achieve an ANCAP safety rating - of whichever star rating level - a vehicle must achieve minimum scores in each of the physical tests as well as meet minimum requirements for the inclusion of key safety features and SAT which may help prevent, or minimise the impact of, a crash. Over the next few years, ANCAP is introducing further updates to its existing suite of physical tests as well as adding new physical and performance tests to its test regime.

To view the star rating requirements for this, and future years, see the Future Requirements page on the ANCAP website.
New pedestrian legform commissioned.
New pedestrian legform commissioned.

The new Flex-PLI pedestrian test legform was commissioned for use at is first Australian test at the Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) in Adelaide last month.

The flexible pedestrian legform impactor (Flex-PLI) is a much more advanced legform than the previously used Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) legform impactor, providing a higher level of biofidelity. The older TRL impactor has a rigid steel femur shaft and a steel tibia shaft with a deformable knee joint providing injury data based three channel measurements. The Flex-PLI impactor however is fitted with 12 separate channels measuring data. It has a flexible femur and tibia - both made from high-strength plastic - and is fitted with instrumentation that enables measurement of the bending of both bones during impact. The Flex-PLI is a wireless unit featuring an onboard data acquisition system recording injury data during the impact.

The Flex-PLI has been purchased by CASR with assistance from ANCAP and its members and is now being used by ANCAP for pedestrian protection tests conducted to Pedestrian Protection Protocol v8.0.

Copies of ANCAP technical protocols and policies can be accessed here.
Vehicle safety improvements key to more immediate road safety outcomes.

In its submission to the 2015 Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee Inquiry into Aspects of Road Safety in Australia, ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Clarke said that the next significant reduction in road trauma will come from new vehicle technology.

The submission outlines the important role ANCAP has played in pushing the boundaries - bringing safety into vehicles ahead of regulation and faster than would otherwise be the case for many manufacturers. It sets out the key actions and challenges which are to be faced if there is to be a more immediate drop in road trauma:
  • Regulation provides an excellent base level assessment of most elements of vehicle safety design but regulation of design standards alone cannot keep pace with the rapid introduction of new car safety technology. ANCAP has progressively lifted its standards to a level beyond regulation and in order to ensure that the safest cars come into our market and that serious downward pressure on road trauma continues, ANCAP needs ongoing long-term support.
  • There needs to be greater recognition of the role new safety assist technology (SAT) can play in reducing road trauma in the shortest possible time and at relatively low cost. Autonomous Emergency braking (AEB) is the next major safety initiative and every effort should be made to ensure that every single car coming into the market is equipped with AEB.
  • There are many safety technologies that, singly and in combination, can address different crash types particularly in regional and rural areas. Commitments should be sought from all carmakers to accelerate the introduction of a range of SAT, including but not limited to; autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver fatigue monitoring and adaptive front headlights. By raising consumer awareness to demand safer vehicles ANCAP is in a unique position to effect change.
  • Despite the existence of a national strategy to reduce serious injuries (and fatalities), there is at present no consistent basis for measuring or collecting serious injury information across jurisdictions. There is a pressing need for a system that provides accurate and reliable data on injuries arising from road crashes to enable measurement of the true cost of road trauma and to clearly identify the most effective policy positions and technological solutions.
A copy of ANCAP's full submission can be viewed here.
NSW Child Safety Initiative
NSW Child Safety Initiative.

ANCAP is pleased to support the recently released NSW Police Legacy Child Safety Handbook. This valuable resource provides parents, families, carers, teachers and the wider community with information on preventative strategies to protect our most valuable and vulnerable resource – our children.

The Handbook provides practical, commonsense advice to help parents and others educate our children about key health and safety issues in a range of environments and different situations - from school to the home and backyard, through to public and private transport and the outdoors (boating, bushwalking, sun safety).

Of particular interest to ANCAP is the comprehensive section on Safety In Cars. It contains sound advice on choosing and fitting the correct restraint for your child, as well as tips on general safety for drivers and passengers, including seat belt use, driver fatigue, driver visibility and driver distraction, unrestrained objects and packing luggage.

NSW Police Legacy provides the Handbook free of charge to parents of primary school children throughout NSW. The Handbook is also available electronically at

ANCAP congratulates NSW Police Legacy on its continued commitment to keeping our children safe in today's challenging environment.
Precise car specification is vital
Precise car specification is vital

ANCAP, and other NCAPs around the world, have been critical of vehicle manufacturers that downgrade safety and other equipment in new passenger and light commercial models destined for particular markets. For example, a vehicle sold with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard in Europe may have AEB available only as an option in Australia and not available at all in Latin America.

A recent article published in Australian Automotive (OEM Parts, Feb 15) referenced the Suzuki Swift as an example of things not always being what they appear. This vehicle is sold in India as the Maruti Suzuki Swift and scored zero stars when tested by Global NCAP last year, yet an identical looking Suzuki Swift manufactured with additional safety features and higher quality materials for the Australasian market received a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.

The article indicates that another similar and equally disturbing trend is emerging in vehicle repairs - that of counterfeit parts, particularly for higher volume items - and underlines the potential impact on the safety of vehicles repaired with sub-standard parts.

While non-genuine parts have always been available, there are an increasing number of reports of counterfeit parts that look identical to the OEM parts they imitate but may not perform to the same standard as an original manufacturer component. The article also details examples such as out-of-date OEM airbags that are purchased for vastly reduced prices in other markets and then sold into Australia for significantly lower prices than new OEM items.

The article goes on to explain how original equipment manufacturers are developing solutions for ensuring that cars are repaired and serviced using OEM parts, and outlines the approaches taken by a number of OEM and other companies to safeguard their products from counterfeit imitations and to expand the use of OEM parts, particularly in independent workshops.

ANCAP applauds this action by the OEM and urges them to apply the same principles to their new vehicles across all markets. Regardless of location, all new car buyers should have access to the safest possible vehicles built from high quality materials and incorporating the latest in life-saving safety assist technologies.
Black boxes prescribed to reduce road toll.
Black boxes prescribed to reduce road toll.

Black box technology would be fitted to all cars and trucks, as part of a package of measures proposed by Australia's surgeons to help slash the national road toll.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons also wants alcohol ignition locks fitted to trucks, buses, taxis, trams and trains and stricter enforcement of speed limits. Surgeon John Crozier, who chairs the college's national trauma committee, said Australia was struggling to implement plans developed as part of an international "decade of road safety".

"Currently we're losing 1,400 Australians per year," Dr Crozier said. "That's four a day and 32,500 people are seriously injured each year."

The college of surgeons has endorsed the compulsory introduction of black boxes to help deter unsafe driving.

Dr Crozier praised trucking magnate Lindsay Fox for introducing real-time monitoring of his fleet which detected unsafe driving, including speeding. A more "passive" option for the cars was black boxes which were not monitored by authorities in real-time. They could be used to collate data for use in crash investigations and by insurance companies.

"The devices can help give evidence of the mechanisms of a crash and perhaps point towards errors or failures — whether they are road engineering, vehicle parameters or human performance factors," Dr Crozier said.

Insurer QBE already offers customers "insurance boxes" which monitor driver behaviour, enabling good drivers to be offered cheaper premiums.

Dr Crozier said Australia had once been seen as a world leader in road safety, through the introduction of measures such as random breath testing and compulsory seat belts. But Australia was now lagging behind other countries.

"The 2020 vision for the UN decade on road safety is zero deaths," Dr Crozier said. "That is actually an achievable; it is not an aspirational goal, it's an achievable goal."

The college of surgeons outlined its plans for improving road safety in a submission to a Senate inquiry. The college wants better road design, greater separation of pedestrians and cyclists from motor vehicles and the mandating of modern safety technology in new cars.

The Senate road safety inquiry is being chaired by Labor Senator Glenn Sterle, a former truck driver.

In another submission to the inquiry, South Australian Police said almost 70 per cent of all road fatalities in the state occurred on rural areas. The police submission warned against placing too much emphasis on improving rural roads to reduce road deaths. It said the large size of Australia's road network limited engineering solutions and there should continuing focus was needed on safer speeds and driver behaviour.

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