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Harmonization of Australian NCAP with EuroNCAP~Lessons learned
Published June 04, 2001 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
Australian NCAP (ANCAP) began in 1992 with full frontal 56 km/h barrier tests and added the 40% offset deformable barrier test shortly afterwards. In 1999 ANCAP decided to harmonize its testing and evaluation procedures with EuroNCAP (ENCAP). This was so ANCAP could use the results of ENCAP testing on European vehicles where the vehicle specifications were essentially similar to those of the Australian model, thereby reducing the number and cost of tests required to produce consumer information. The process has involved a joint Memorandum of Understanding, close communication between technical and management staff, auditing of ANCAP test results by ENCAP and has required very careful examination of vehicle specifications in the respective continents. Presentation of the results has been different to ENCAP based on Australian research. Training in vehicle inspection techniques to evaluate the subjective aspects of the crash test results required under ENCAP protocols has been an ongoing concern for ANCAP. The harmonization process has been surprisingly smooth and has already benefited both groups by providing information which would not otherwise have been available. For instance, ANCAP has published consumer ratings for a range of expensive European car models which would not otherwise have been tested. There has been close liaison with the motor industry on the changes to the program. Future directions of the program will follow ENCAP in principle. The New Zealand Government and auto club joined the program in 2000 to form Australasian NCAP.