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Safety Testing for AVs is Just Beginning

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AVEP03_09
Published 2019-03-01by SAE International in United States
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  • English

There is much work to be done in creating accurate, reliable tests for occupant crashworthiness tailored to new AV designs and seating configurations.

NHTSA's plan to eventually update its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) with new crash-test protocols is good news for both consumers and the mobility safety-systems industry. A revised NCAP will likely feature enhanced occupant safety testing as well as testing of active-safety features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic braking.

It's also a positive step for autonomous vehicle (AV) developers. Studies show U.S. consumers are still resistant to the idea of self-driving cars, and such testing will provide the public with assurances that these vehicles are safe. This should serve to “warm up” consumers to the idea of a world with AVs, boosting demand and paving the way for an increasingly safer mobility future.