The New Car Assessment Programme for South East Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) has performed the first development test for blind spot monitoring systems today. Based on the latest ASEAN NCAP 2017-2020 protocol – which assesses the availability of the technology under the Safety Assist category – the test is aimed at improving the agency’s capacity and capability in testing these systems.

Blind spot monitoring systems have been included in its scoring system because of the high number of fatalities involving motorcyclists in Malaysia and in the greater ASEAN region, ASEAN NCAP says. According to statistics from the Malaysian police, there were 4,348 motorcyclist deaths in Malaysia last year.

This puts them in the highest bracket for road deaths in the country, comprising 64.5% of the 6,740 total fatalities. By comparison, the next highest group, passenger car drivers and occupants, made up only 18.8% of the overall figure. By encouraging the adoption of blind spot monitoring systems, collisions with motorcycles when changing lanes can be mitigated or eliminated altogether, ASEAN NCAP says.

A total of 10 car models, sold in the region with blind spot monitors, were subjected to the test today – these include various models from Toyota (C-HR, Camry), Honda (Accord, CR-V, Odyssey), Mazda (Mazda 3, CX-5), Volvo (V40), Mercedes-Benz (S 400 h) and Hyundai (Ioniq). They were tested against 10 of the most popular motorcycle models in the ASEAN region. Five of these car models were also tested at night.

“The blind spot technology (BST) development test marks ASEAN NCAP’s plans in performing actual assessments to test the effectiveness of BSTs in detecting motorcyclists riding in the blind spot zone,” said secretary-general Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim. “This is according to ASEAN NCAP’s objective to reduce motorcyclist fatalities especially during a lane changing action.

“The test will also prepare us for our future roadmap for 2021 to 2030 that will place a priority on motorcycle safety by having a special domain for it in future assessments,” he added.