Passenger Vehicle Safety Rating (Euro & US-NCAP, IIHS): Performance Overview and Energy Management Solutions 2003-01-0230
Nowadays public vehicle safety awareness is a key factor in choosing a car to be purchased. Therefore OEMs are aggressively designing vehicles with crash protection and safety features beyond the minimum standards set by national and federal requirements. This paper offers an overview of three of the most widely consulted consumers safety programs: Euro-NCAP, US-NCAP and IIHS, detailing the basic test procedures and rating criteria. Analysis of published data, specific trends and critical areas are discussed across the different vehicle segments. Most of the improvements in crash safety performance have been obtained so far by increasing the vehicle body stiffness as well as introducing a larger number of air bags per vehicle. Starting from the current set of solutions, new Energy Absorption (EA) concepts to improve safety rating and/or optimize cost-weight are discussed. In particular the concept of Load Control alongside EA efficiency will be described and demonstrated using specific extruded foam developed for energy management.