THE U.S. NEW CAR ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (NCAP): PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE 2001-06-0245
The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) tests and results provide crucial information to consumers on the relative safety of new vehicles. The expanded visibility and use of NCAP information by consumers in their buying decisions, and increased references to NCAP information by vehicle manufacturers in their advertisements, contribute to the manufacture and purchase of safer vehicles and attest to the expanded importance of NCAP. NHTSA has increased the types of tests and the categories and numbers of vehicles it tests and is considering the use of smaller stature dummies in NCAP. Developmental testing has been conducted and consideration is being given to adding crash avoidance information, such as braking and headlamp performance, as well as child restraint ratings, to NCAP. A fully developed plan for the future of NCAP will assure its maximum safety benefits and cost effectiveness. This paper reviews NHTSA’s NCAP program, including its history and present status, with a reference comparison to NCAP programs of other organizations in the U.S. and abroad. It discusses NCAP in relation to rulemaking. It examines NCAP’s future prospects, including changes and additions to its testing program and the presentation of its information, international harmonization, program management, and strategic issues.
Lawrence L. Hershman
International Technical Conference on Enhanced Safety of Vehicles