This project is a collaboration between Toyota's CSRC and University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
To help consumers compare automotive safety technologies across manufacturers when buying a new vehicle, NHTSA developed the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). As new technologies are introduced to the market, the system is updated with new testing procedures so that the government and the American public can better evaluate them.
Vehicle pre-collision systems seek to help reduce the severity of automobile accidents through a range of features including driver alerts, brake pre-charging and seat belt tensioning and have recently been added as a vehicle technology evaluated under the NCAP. The design and operation of pre-collision systems vary across vehicle manufacturers, test procedures designed to evaluate the different variations available in new vehicles need to be developed before NHTSA can establish comparative ratings.
Toyota’s CSRC and UMTRI are partnering to identify and create test procedures for pre-collision systems along with the specifications for a surrogate target, such as a balloon-shaped car, that can be used during the vehicle validation testing.
The study will examine available crash data from NHTSA crash databases (FARS, CDS, NASS-GES, and NMVCCS) to identify the most frequent crash scenarios. Researchers will also use radar scanning technology, such as Michigan Tech Research Institute's (MTRI) Radar Scanner, to develop a surrogate target that can be used to accurately represent real vehicles on the road in crash tests.
Finally, researchers will use the collected data to recommend test procedures, validating the surrogate target against multiple vehicles to ensure that test procedures are applicable across many manufacturers.
This two-year project will be conducted along three parallel tracks, including research into test scenarios and procedures, research to develop the standard surrogate target and validation testing, and the development of recommended test procedures.