If you’re familiar with the European automotive market, chances are you’ve heard of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP). As one of the world’s most established safety rating organizations, Euro NCAP has already practically made Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) a requirement for any new car model launched in Europe. So, what are the main differences between Euro NCAP’s rating requirements and the EU’s General Safety Regulation (GSR)?
When deciding which car to buy, millions of people look to Euro NCAP’s safety ratings. This naturally encourages automakers to adapt their new car models to the safety requirements set by Euro NCAP. Since including driver monitoring system technology in their new car assessment protocol, Euro NCAP has caused car manufacturers all over the world to implement DMS with a new sense of urgency. As of January 2023, it is very difficult to receive a five-star rating from Euro NCAP without an active safety system that monitors the state of the driver – setting a new safety standard. To learn more about Euro NCAP and how they assess driver monitoring systems, make sure to download our eBook on the subject.
In the end though, Euro NCAP’s assessment protocol is a car rating method, while the GSR is legislation determined by the European Union (EU). The GSR is mandating, while Euro NCAP’s requirements are technically voluntary. However, the safety rating given to a car model by Euro NCAP can be a very powerful indicator of the car’s success.
In terms of the technology, the Advanced Driver Distraction Warning (ADDW) systems and DMS systems mandated by the GSR and Euro NCAP’s requirements are similar, but not identical. The GSR demand less specific data about distraction activities, and doesn’t require as detailed drowsiness assessments. Euro NCAP also rewards points for detecting other types of distractions, such as short multiple distractions, while the GSR focus solely on the detection of long distractions. In addition, Euro NCAP’s safety ratings are influenced by the system’s ability to recognize drowsiness, microsleep events and driver impairment.
Of course, technologies that satisfy both the GSR and Euro NCAP requirements may co-exist in the same vehicle. A system that is rewarded full scores by Euro NCAP is likely to also live up to the demands of the GSR, while a vehicle that only fulfills the bare minimum GSR requirements will probably not be awarded five stars by Euro NCAP.
As you can imagine, both the GSR and Euro NCAP requirements have changed the way car manufacturers need to think when developing their new car models. For many, implementing new technology is not always a friction free process. To learn more about the challenges faced by car manufacturers racing to satisfy the demands on the GSR – and the solutions to some of those issues – stay tuned for the next part of this blog series.