Asean NCAP: Safer cars, for safer motorcycles

THE New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Countries (Asean NCAP) yesterday organised its first Blind Spot Technology Development Test on cars that are currently available in our market.

The main objective of the test is to improve its capacity and capability in performing such test. Furthermore, the development test is based on Asean NCAP 2017-2020 protocol in which the technology is included under the Safety Assist domain in its aspiration to reduce motorcyclist fatalities in the Asean region.

According to Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), motorcyclist fatality in Malaysia recorded the highest in 2017 among road users with 4,348 deaths. The number comprises 64.5% from the total number of recorded deaths at 6,740. This is followed by car driver/occupant at 18.8%, pedestrian with 6.5%, lorry at 3%, cyclist 2.4%, others at 1.8%, 4WD at about 1.7%, van 0.9% and bus driver/passenger at 0.3%. At the Asean level, Word Health Organization (WHO) reported that motorcyclist or two- and three-wheelers comprised 34% of the total road traffic fatalities in Southeast Asia in 2015. This percentage is significantly high compared to car driver/occupant and light vehicles with 16%, pedestrians at 13%, cyclists 3% and others at 34% deaths.

As the number of motorcyclist fatalities in the Asean region – in general and specifically in Malaysia – remains significantly high, Asean NCAP has included Blind Spot Technology (BST) in their current assessment protocol as part of the requirement in obtaining points for Asean NCAP star rating. The BST aims at eliminating collision with other vehicles, especially motorcycles, coming from either the side or rear of the car when they are in the blind spot zone of the car. By having BST, the detection will be able to warn the driver that a motorcycle is approaching. Thus, this will help to deter a collision from occurring or minimise the injury sustained by the motorcyclist, if in the event the motorcyclist was not visible when the car was about to perform lane-changing action or making a turn.

During yesterday’s development test, Asean NCAP tested 10 car models which are sold in the Asean market, fitted with various types of BSTs. Each car was tested against 10 target motorcycles that are popular in terms of sales in the region. Two types of assessment were performed and tested during day and night time. During the day test, all 10 car models were ran against the 10 target motorcycles, while at night only five car models were tested against the same 10 motorcycles.

Asean NCAP expected that this development test will be able to assess how efficient different types of BSTs fitted inside different car models, particularly during lane changing action. In addition, the tests performed during daytime and night-time will assess the effectiveness of BSTs in detecting the visibility of the motorcycles in order to ensure their safety in no lighting condition.

Asean NCAP secretary-general, Ir Dr Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim said: “The BST development test marks Asean NCAP’s plans in performing actual assessment to test the effectiveness of BST in detecting motorcyclists riding in blind spot zone. This is in accordance with our objective to reduce motorcyclist fatalities especially during lane-changing action. The test was performed based on the requirement as stipulated in the ISO 17387. This test will also prepare us for our future roadmap for 2021-2030 that will place priority in motorcycle safety by having a special domain for it in the future assessments.

“On behalf of Asean NCAP, I would like to thank all car manufacturers comprising Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai, who gave their full cooperation to make this event a success. Thank you also to Motorcycle & Scooter Assemblers and Distributors Association of Malaysia (MASAAM) together with two motorcycle manufacturers, Boon Siew Honda and Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn Bhd, who have been assisting us throughout the organisation process. This is the first collaborative programme organised between car manufacturers and motorcycle manufacturers with Asean NCAP. We are keen to have more collaboration between these two parties in the near future for the betterment of road safety.”