SAFETY organisation Euro NCAP has released its annual Year in Numbers where it considers the highs and lows as well some of the emerging trends that have appeared throughout one year of results.
In 2022 - a record year for Euro NCAP - never before did it conduct as many safety tests or have so many newcomers in the programme.
During 2022 Euro NCAP publisheda total of 73 safety ratings, of which 67 were for brand-new car models,including 65 models with the lowest safety specification and two ratings for models with optional equipment - and six for variants of previously tested models.
The organisation said that 2022 was an exceptionally challenging year for the automotive industry.
Not only has the sector had to deal with new safety, emission, and cybersecurity regulations, but it has also had to contend with the economic repercussions of the invasion of Ukraine, Brexit, and the challenges related to shortages of semiconductor chips, materials, and labour.
Out of respect for these challenges and to ease the burden on industry, Euro NCAP delayed the introduction of its new protocols until the beginning of 2023.
Taking advantage of the additional year, the latest models scored very well against the criteria with15 out of 65 cars receiving four stars (22 per cent),while50 cars received five stars (78 per cent).
In contrast to 2021, no vehicles received three stars or less.
Among the emerging trends are:
1. The EV market continued to expand quickly. In 2022,full electric vehicles made up 22 out of 65 new models, a percentage of 34 per centand five out of six Euro NCAP's Best in Class winners were electric. Many new players have entered the European market, largely thanks to the increasing popularity of EVs.
2. Seven brands made their Euro NCAP debut in 2022, six of which come from China
3. Centre airbags to reduce injuries in far-side crashes are one of the new safety elements that have recently been recognised.Of the 65 new cars examined, 47 (72 per cent) came with standard front-seat centre airbags
4. Attention assist systems are increasingly common in cars. In 2022, most vehicles evaluated by Euro NCAP,94 per cent, already included a system for detecting driver drowsiness. In 53 out of 61 cases this is delivered by monitoring of steering-wheel input and/or lane position, while in nine cars direct driver eye tracking or a combination is used.
For Euro NCAP, 2022 also marked 25 years of making cars safer.
In 2023, the organisation has huge developments ahead including a real step forward on the road to Vision Zero with new protocols in car testing that will consider the wider implications on vulnerable road users, but also consideration of a new target group that will be announced later in the year.