The European New Car Assessment Programme (also known as Euro NCAP) has released Vision 2030: a Safer Future for Mobility – a roadmap that will help support safer vehicles and offer greater certainty for European customers. Designed to outline how Euro NCAP will achieve these goals, it also sets the focus of vehicle safety for the European automotive industry through 2030. It will likewise present the role Euro NCAP will play within the future mobility landscape. Through its roadmap, Euro NCAP has also committed to pushing for vehicle safety developments and testing that reflect the diversity of Europe’s population.

The release of Vision 2030 establishes the key focus areas for the European new vehicle market, accounting for new industry stakeholders as well as those previously involved in the Euro NCAP process. In reflecting the shift to encouraging the integration of assisted and autonomous driving technologies, Euro NCAP’s assessment will adapt similarly.

The four key areas of the program’s assessment, which have been in place since 2009, will now reflect four phases of a potential crash event: Safe Driving, Crash Avoidance, Crash Protection, and Post-Crash Safety. Euro NCAP has confirmed that this change will take effect from 2026. From then, the program will transition towards a three-year protocol update cycle. Euro NCAP will be phasing in virtual testing, improving testing for vulnerable road user protection, and introducing rating incentives for a range of driver monitoring systems.

By 2030, several additions will be made to further support the Euro NCAP program, such as the testing and assessment of assisted and automated driver support systems; the assessment of technologies that monitor drive impairment and cognitive distraction; and requirements that further improve the real-world efficacy of speed assistance technologies. New active safety tests implemented into the program before this deadline will closely simulate real road environments, examining HMI design to ensure the development of more robust, efficient, driver assist systems.

By the end of the decade, Euro NCAP is also looking to integrate the testing and assessment of safety functions enabled by V2V, V2I, and V2X communication technologies, while promoting best practices for vehicle security and data access. For EVs specifically, Euro NCAP will evaluate their fire risk and thermal runaway to help gather improved information for first and second responders.

New passive safety tests conducted by the program will provide focus to gender equality and the aging population of vehicle drivers and occupants. In expanding its scope beyond the car, Euro NCAP is investigating new programs that will assess the safety of motorcycles and motor scooters, alongside light and heavy goods vehicles. Through these tests, Euro NCAP is ultimately seeking to address and underline the overrepresentation of these vehicles in road fatalities and serious injuries.

‘Euro NCAP’s achievements in its 25 years long history, are testament to the program’s enduring success and relevance. Despite major developments in safety in passenger cars, our work is not done. Euro NCAP, strongly believes that it holds the potential to further improve vehicle safety in the next decade in support of a Vision Zero which strives to eliminate fatalities and the seriously injured in road crashes,’ says Dr Niels Ebbe Jacobsen, President of Euro NCAP.

The Vision 2030 roadmap was produced in close collaboration with ANCAP, Euro NCAP’s Australasian counterpart.