For more than 20 years, the Euro NCAP, or New Car Assessment Programme has set the standard for car safety thanks to its rigorous crash testing. With modern cars being more sophisticated and technologically advanced than ever before, it’s no surprise that safety has become more important than ever before.
Euro NCAP’s detailed and rigorous crash testing has saved thousands of lives over the course of its history existence, however, it wants to further increase safety by adding motorised two-wheelers to the equation. With motorcycles becoming more technologically advanced than ever before, it makes sense that motorcycles also undergo third-party assessment to determine their overall level of safety. On top of that, the recent proliferation of autopilot systems in cars, and the resulting increase in motorcycle-related accidents involving these systems is a clear indication that improvements are needed.
In a broad sense, Euro NCAP plans to modernise its tests to make them more in line with typical traffic conditions, for instance, by including weather variables to test their influence on the efficiency of driver aids, as well as by including tests on more cutting-edge tech features, in particular communication between vehicles and adaptive cruise control. More specifically, starting in 2024, tests for adaptive cruise control will be conducted on roads other than expressways, including projects involving motorcycles.
At the end of the day, Euro NCAP wants to make its testing system as realistic as possible, accounting for all the variables involved in road safety. Given the rising popularity of commuter scooters across Europe, two-wheelers are an unavoidable facet of daily life. For the first time, powered two-wheelers will be included in the assessment scenarios for utility vehicles and technology-assisted driving as part of the organization's expansion of its collision avoidance tests.
On the motorcycle side of things, Euro NCAP’s revised testing systems could potentially provide manufacturers with valuable information regarding the effectiveness of certain rider aids such as lean-sensitive ABS and traction control. Further down the line, ergonomic refinements centered on safety could also result from the enhanced tests. Furthermore, Euro NCAP’s revised testing could also include riding gear and equipment, and potentially make gear even safer.
With all these things laid out on the table, it’s clear to see that testing the safety of motorcycles is a lot more challenging than that of cars. Indeed, it’ll require the Euro NCAP folks to think outside of the box—or should I say, cage—as motorcycle accidents and injuries tend to be a lot more unpredictable than those of cars. As such, Euro NCAP ascertains that the cooperation of the motorcycle industry will be vital in order to roll out an effective testing campaign focused on two-wheelers.