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Euro NCAP Technical Director Provides Insights on Ratings System Overhaul

Posted: February 7, 2024

In its 2023 review, the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) announced a new rating scheme to evaluate vehicle safety.

But what does that mean for industry?

“The new Euro NCAP Rating Scheme is a complete overhaul based on the Haddon Matrix that includes safe driving, crash avoidance, crash protection, and post-crash safety,” said Richard Schram, Technical Director of Euro NCAP.

Set to begin in 2026 with a planned 3-year update cycle, this new system will change the performance standards at each star level for passenger cars for the foreseeable future and supports the Euro NCAP Vision 2030 Roadmap.

While Euro NCAP will continue to issue overall star ratings for passenger vehicles based on a series of safety checks, the current four box system is being phased out in favor of a new approach that clusters tests according to the four stages of an accident that Schram described. The change is designed to make a clearer distinction between the role of various safety systems as well as put a more critical eye toward and emphasis on effectiveness of driver aids.

Schram also shared that the new rating scheme allows for the implementation of virtual testing and assisted driving within the star rating system.

“It will deliver a far more robust and future-proof assessment of the actual safety level of vehicles, while also providing clarity for consumers on the new technologies in their car and their effectiveness in each stage of crash prevention,” Schram said.

To facilitate adoption and aid in understanding of this new system, Euro NCAP and SAE International will host a joint webinar on March 5, 2024, to dive into the new rating system and prepare safety engineers for compliance in future vehicle design.

Register here to join the conversation and stay current on these crucial updates in on-road safety technology.


About Richard Schram

Richard Schram is the Technical Director of Euro NCAP and has been with the organization since 2010. Richard studied at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. After finishing his Master Thesis on Car-to-Truck compatibility, Richard continued working at TNO Automotive in 2005, where he became involved in vehicle crash safety research and development in both passive and active safety fields. Richard is responsible for the technical execution of the Vision 2030 roadmap, overseeing the WGs working on the future protocols and the development of the new Euro NCAP Overall Rating Scheme that will be introduced in 2026.

About Euro NCAP

The European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) is a vehicle safety performance assessment programme based in Leuven, Belgium. Euro NCAP began providing consumer information about new car safety over 25 years ago with the mission of eliminating fatalities and seriously injured in crashes on European roads. Euro NCAP created its five-star safety rating system to help motoring consumers, their families, businesses and industry compare the safety protection of new cars more easily. Euro NCAP's testing, carried out across a network of labs in Europe and China, includes crash and safety performance assessments in collision avoidance, crash protection and post-crash safety. Euro NCAP's remit has since widened to include Commercial Vans and more recently Heavy Trucks. Backed by several European governments, motoring, consumers and insurance organisations that assures its independence, Euro NCAP remains the catalyst for encouraging significant safety improvements to new vehicle design.