Pedestrian Testing for the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)
One of our most significant clients is the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). ANCAP is a consortium of Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, State government departments, and motor injury insurance authorities. It provides vehicle buyers with information on the crash performance of vehicles, including side impact tests, offset-frontal tests and pedestrian tests. Since 1999 we have been contracted to perform the pedestrian tests, and since 2000 we have tested 168 vehicles for the program.
The tests are designed to measure the risk of injury to pedestrians in a collision with the front of the vehicle. Many kinds of crash test use instrumented dummies to measure injury risk, but for pedestrian safety tests 'sub-system' impactors representing different regions of the body are used. The different impactors represent the head of an adult pedestrian, the head of child pedestrian, the upper leg of an adult pedestrian and the knee/lower leg of the pedestrian.
The headform tests are conducted on the bonnet and at the base of the windscreen at a speed of 40 km/h (the windscreen itself is considered to be 'safe' and unlikely to cause serious injury on its own). Twelve different locations are tested, and manufacturers can nominate extra tests and different locations to modify the test score. The results of the headform tests contribute most strongly to the overall assessment of the vehicle. The headform measures impact deceleration, and this is used to rate the severity of the impact.
The upper legform tests are conducted along the leading edge of the vehicle, around the forward-most area of a passenger vehicle's bonnet. The impactor measures the severity of the impact and the risk of fracture to an adult pedestrian's femur and pelvis.
The full legform tests are conducted along the front bumper of the vehicle, and it measures the risk of ligament damage to the knee and the risk of fracturing the tibia and fibula. Knee injury is assessed by examining the kinematics of the 'knee joint' in the legform and tibia/fibula fracture risk by the impact deceleration of that part of the legform.
Individual test scores are summarised by a star rating between 0 and 4. Generally, the testing has shown a range of results, with some vehicles clearly designed to ensure some level of protection for pedestrians, while other vehicles have performed poorly. The test scores generally lie in the range of one to three stars.