In the past few years, most new cars for sale in the EU obtain a spectacular five star rating from Euro NCAP, the prestigious crash test agency located in Brussels.
The good news for motorists is that meeting the previously tough standards is now not going to be enough to earn those coveted five stars. Starting in January 2016, drivers will be able to opt for a car with standard safety features, or select a model with premium safety innovations built in that will carry the new five star standard.
Ground breaking automotive technology
The tougher five star specification will include the need for a range of crash avoidance technology innovations. Crash avoidance systems are the new direction for vehicle safety, marking a change from designing a car that maximised occupant safety in the event of a crash to incorporating technology that proactively warns the driver of potential hazards, and even allows the car to take autonomous accident prevention action.
It won’t be cheap!
Whilst crash avoidance systems offer a demonstrably safer driving experience, the relatively recent development of the technology means that they’re comparatively expensive to install. Consumers will need to consider whether the significant price tag that the new five star rating will demand is worth the peace of mind that additional safety can bring.
Conventional models will remain on offer
Older, experienced drivers in particular may well feel that careful, sensible driving and more conventional methods of minimising risk could be as useful in preventing accidents as the expensive gadgetry that a crash avoidance system provides. For these car owners, manufacturers can chose to provide cheaper versions of a particular model, which would still score 5 stars under the old system but will miss out on the desirable top safety star award when Euro NCAP’s new ratings are introduced.
The enhancement of safety standards to take into account new technology is an exciting innovation. It remains to be seen whether car buyers will be prepared to part with their hard earned cash in order to benefit from innovative crash avoidance systems.
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