NHTSA Requesting Comments on Revisions to New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)
On April 5, 2013, NHTSA published a Request for Comments (Vol. 78, Number 66; FR Docket Number 2013-07766; NHTSA-2012-0180) to support NHTSA's efforts to amend 49 CFR PART 575 - Consumer Information Regulations, and improve the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) initiative. NCAP provides comparative information on the safety of new vehicles to assist consumers with vehicle purchasing decisions and encourage motor vehicle manufacturers to make safety improvements.
Due to the rapid development of vehicle safety technologies, especially in the area of crash avoidance, NHTSA once again seeks public comments in order to help identify potential areas for improvement to the program that have the greatest potential for producing safety benefits. This request lists and describes potential areas of study for improving NCAP. The Agency will use the comments it receives to aid in developing a notice proposing near term upgrades to NCAP, to help it in developing a draft 5-year plan for the NCAP program, outlining research that the Agency plans to conduct and, to assist in considering longer term upgrades the Agency intends to pursue.
Proposed areas for potential inclusion or refinement include:
- Crash Avoidance & Post-Crash Technology
- Warning technologies (i.e. blind spot detection (BSD), advanced lighting)
- Intervention technologies (i.e. lane departure prevention, crash imminent braking (CIB), dynamic braking support (DBS), automatic pedestrian detection & braking)
- Crash notification technologies (i.e. automatic collision notification (CAN & AACN))
- Rear seat occupants
- Silver car rating for older occupants
- Pedestrian protection
- Improved test dummies and injury criteria (i.e. new dummies, new injury criteria, refined injury criteria)
- New test protocols for electric vehicles
- Other strategies (i.e. comparison barrier testing, advanced child dummies, family star rating)
- Revised Rating System
- Adjust baseline injury risk
- Update rollover risk curve
- Carry back ratings
- Better Consumer Information
- Focus groups on advanced technology
- Consumer research on Monroney label
- Vehicle-CRS (child restraint system) Fit Program
- Child seat ease of use rating
NHTSA has already sought public comment regarding CIB/DBS and Vehicle-CRS Fit Program and is conducting research on the Monroney label; therefore, they are asking that submitted comments address areas other than these.
NHTSA also welcomes comments and proposals not included in their provided listing of proposed areas for improvement. The Agency indicated that the four prerequisites for considering an area for adoption as a NCAP enhancement are:
- Known safety need
- Vehicle/equipment designs must exist or be anticipated in prototype designs
- Safety benefit estimate based on anticipated performance
- Feasibility to develop a performance-based objective test procedure to measure ability to mitigate the safety issue
Comments on the above documents are due to NHTSA by July 5, 2013.
Subscribers to USA will find this Request for Comments on InterRegs.NET. Note that InterRegs' core business is capturing and translating regulatory requirements. For this reason, NCAP criteria, NCAP test procedures and NCAP test results are not normally included unless such information relates to U.S. 49CFR PART 575 - Consumer Information.