ASEAN NCAP P-3 Proton Preve-2

The ongoing series of technical talks organised by the Malaysia Automotive Institute and Society of Automotive Engineers Malaysia continued today – this time, it was the turn of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) to hold court.

The presentation at the MAI Galleria in Cyberjaya this morning was to automotive industry stakeholders, and discussed many facets of road safety related-matters. The big ticket item concerned updates on the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP).

Following the conclusion of its three-phase pilot project which began in 2013 and ended last May, the organisation – which operates under the ambit of Miros – will be fully operational by August and is set to carry out safety testing on new cars periodically.

Changes are in store – down the road, there will be revisions and additions to the testing protocols, but the programme will remain unchanged until the end of 2016, with the exception that the UN R95 side impact test introduced in Phase III of the pilot project will now be mandatory.

General evaluation has cars being subjected to an offset frontal collision test, which involves striking a deformable barrier with an overlap of 40% at 64 km/h, and the side impact test consists of a mobile deformable barrier striking the side of the car at 50 km/h.

It was also announced that reassessment or audit tests would be introduced where there may be variations since the initial test, for example if there was a deviation on safety items (for example, the introduction or a new variant without top tether points, where it was tested with it in place before).

Moving forward, from 2016 to 2020 the organisation is looking to develop a new testing regime in which a new combined rating system (in the vein of Euro NCAP) will be slowly put in place. Significant updates to test protocols are also expected in frontal and lateral occupant protection test aspects as well as of those for child occupant protection (COP) – the plan is to have them running from 2020.

ASEAN NCAP Miros 7

Revisions include the development of curtain airbag evaluation to replace the pole test, and a lot of emphasis is being put on the COP aspect – the lateral occupant protection tests, for example, will be considered together with Q1.5 and Q3 dummies (these representing 1.5-year-old and three-year-old child examples) in place during such testing.

The agency is expected to receive its new Q-Series 1.5 and 3 models by the end of this year, and evaluation trials with these are expected to begin in 2016, with a new points system for COP testing being discussed.

More interestingly, Miros mentioned that it was exploring the idea of the development of an ASEAN NCAP child seat. The idea is to come up with an affordable child seat that is accessible to the masses in terms of cost, but one meeting full requirements and of course built by an established manufacturer.

ASEAN NCAP Miros 9

The organisation says that it has found that currently in all COP tests it has carried out thus far, the child seats being used are higher-end products. Their performance is undoubted, but they are generally expensive, and cost is always an issue. Going cheap or unknown may compromise on issue of safety, and so Miros is looking at seeing if something can be done to address this. Great idea, but let’s see how this pans out.

Finally, Miros is also hoping to advance the implementation of more safety assist technologies, many to do with helping to curb motorcycle-related accidents. On the subject of electronic stability control (ESC), the organisation is working to see if it can get Malaysia going well ahead of the timeframe proposed by the global NCAP declaration on ESC.

That one asks all UN member states to mandate the installation of ESC in new models by 2018 and in all automobiles by 2020 in aggressive fashion – Miros, meanwhile, is discussing with car manufacturers in seeing if all new cars in Malaysia can come equipped with the ESC feature by 2016. It’s an ambitious plan, but it’ll probably be 2018 before it’s all done and dusted.