Euro NCAP crash tests are getting tougher, and the safety body is now looking at autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology for pedestrians. The Toyota Prius and Suzuki Baleno were the first cars to be tested under this new regime.

The Prius, which has Toyota Safety Sense as standard, aced the test with five stars. The new hybrid effectively recognised potential crashes with pedestrians and cars takes the first five-star rating in 2016.

The Suzuki Baleno received three stars based on its standard safety equipment. Suzuki offers an optional safety pack with Radar Brake Support which includes an AEB City and AEB Inter-Urban systems. With that included, the five-door supermini achieves four stars

Like the Suzuki, cars that have optional AEB tech will get two ratings, one with and one without the auto braking system. This allows consumers to easily understand the safety benefit which can be achieved by the additional crash avoidance equipment offered, says the safety body.

The latest generation Autonomous Emergency Braking systems are not only able to detect vehicles ahead but also in more challenging situations where pedestrians are at risk of being run over. By braking the car automatically, the system helps to avoid or mitigate a crash.

“The inclusion of AEB pedestrian in the rating is a key milestone in the development of automotive safety that will help the proliferation of the crash avoidance technology into all segments of the market. At the same time, to provide accurate and clear information to consumers about the latest systems and what benefit they might bring, is becoming more challenging. The dual rating will simplify the choice for the safest car’, said Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP secretary general.

GALLERY: Toyota Prius

GALLERY: Suzuki Baleno