The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Issued a Request for Comments (RFC) Regarding Adding Additional Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) Plus Other Updates
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking public input regarding proposed changes to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) by issuing a Request for Comments (RFC) in the March 9, 2022 Federal Register (F.R. Vol. 87 No. 46; Docket No. NHTSA-2021-0002). The NCAP provides information comparing new vehicle safety performance to assist with prospective customers decisions and to encourage safety improvements. In addition to providing ratings for crash protection and rollover resistance, NCAP recommends Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and identifies vehicles that pass NCAP test performance criteria. This notice seeks comment on how automakers could encourage consumers to choose safety technologies that could prevent risky behaviors, and for the first time, expanding NCAP to include safety for road users outside of the vehicle. This notice proposes upgrades by adding blind spot detection, blind spot intervention, lane keeping support, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking.
In addition to adding the new four ADAS, NHTSA is also proposing and/or considering:
- Increased evaluation stringency to the current NCAP ADAS features
- Developing a rating system for the ADAS features
- Providing a crash avoidance rating at the point of sale on a vehicle's window sticker, consistent with the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act
- Providing a "roadmap" of the NHTSA's plans to upgrade NCAP in phases over the next several years
- Utilizing NCAP to raise consumer awareness of certain safety technologies that could help people drive safer by preventing or limiting risky driving behavior and may be of particular interest to parents or other caregivers shopping for a vehicle for a new or inexperienced driver in the household, or parents wanting to know more about rear seat alerts for hot car/heatstroke
- Discussing ideas for updating several programmatic aspects of NCAP.
This RFC proposes changes with an increase in stringency to the current test procedures and performance criteria for lane departure warning (LDW), crash imminent braking (CIB), dynamic brake support (DBS), and forward collision warning (FCW). The intent is to enable enhanced evaluation of the capabilities in current vehicle models, reduce test burden, and harmonize with other consumer information programs. In addition, this RFC describes and provides information on ADAS technologies: blind spot detection, blind spot intervention, lane keeping support, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking.
The four new ADAS technologies are candidates for NCAP because data indicates they satisfy NHTSA's four prerequisites for inclusion in the NCAP. The prerequisites include: changes to the program address a safety need, there are system designs (countermeasures) that can mitigate the safety problem, existing or new system designs have safety benefit potential, and a performance based objective test procedure exists that can assess system performance.
This RFC includes numbered questions (103) throughout the notice that highlight specific topics on which NHTSA seeks comments. Although several questions may be posed unnumbered within the body of certain sections, these unnumbered questions are reiterated at the conclusion of the topic discussion and in Appendix B. To help ensure that NHTSA is able to address all comments received, the Agency requests that commenters provide corresponding numbering in their responses. A history of relevant events and documents relating to this RFC is contained in Appendix C.
Comments for this request are to be submitted by May 9, 2022.
The RFC is available on InterRegs.NET for our US Federal subscribers and is also available at www.selectregs.com.