The body responsible for giving cars their safety ratings in Europe has said that it will now be testing autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems as part of its safety tests.
Euro NCAP said it has begun to evaluate how effective automatic braking and pedestrian collision avoidance systems are on new cars, meaning cars fitted with the best systems could benefit from higher safety ratings.
The first car to be tested was the Toyota Prius, and it has received the maximum five stars for its ‘Toyota Safety Sense’ technology. The system automatically applies the brakes if it senses an imminent collision, and proved to be very effective in Euro NCAP’s assessments.
The second car to be tested was the Suzuki Baleno hatchback, which was awarded four stars when fitted with optional ‘Radar Brake Support’ auto braking function. This is one star higher than Balenos not fitted with the system, demonstrating how AEB technology can improve a car’s overall rating.
The Baleno is also the first car to be awarded a two-part star rating by Euro NCAP. Previously, only one star rating was awarded to a car model, but now two can be applied; one for base model cars and one for higher-specced ones, which might feature more safety equipment as standard.
This should better illustrate how effective extra safety equipment is on certain models, making it easier for buyers to decide whether to splash out extra cash on optional features.
Read What Car?'s guide to Autonomous Emegency Braking here.