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Thatcham calls for AEB on all EVs following Nissan LEAF’s top Euro NCAP result

Nissan LEAF

Thatcham Research has called for AEB to be fitted as standard on all EVs afte the Nissan LEAF set the standard with a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

The LEAF was the first vehicle to undergo the “tougher” NCAP testing, which focuses on assessing the performance of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems, which can detect cyclists.

Thatcham Research’s director of research, Matthew Avery, said: “Safety campaigners have raised concerns about noise, or rather the lack of it, in fully electrified vehicles – especially in urban driving environments.

"This is why standard-fit AEB systems that can detect Vulnerable Road Users should be fundamental to any electric vehicle’s suite of safety technologies – as the Nissan LEAF demonstrates.”

Avery also highlighted the performance of the Nissan LEAF in impact testing. He said: “Nissan has done a great job considering the additional challenges pure electric propulsion presents.

"Chief amongst those is the additional weight an electric battery brings, which must also be protected in the event of a crash.

“In none of the impact tests did we see any compromise of the battery. In fact, the Nissan LEAF achieved maximum points in the side pole crash test, showing good containment of the battery.”

This year sees the biggest shake up in NCAP testing to date, with protocols covering a greater proportion of ‘real-world’ crashes occurring on the road, including:

  • Offset AEB scenarios where the car partially overlaps at the point of impact with the vehicle ahead were added to supplement the original full overlap car-to-car AEB test;
  • A walking-in-road scenario and testing during darkness were added to existing crossing pedestrian scenarios;
  • Scenarios for collisions with cyclists both crossing and riding along the road were also included.

“Unfortunately, accidents involving Vulnerable Road Users are on the increase,” said Avery.

“This has been reflected by the additional onus the latest Euro NCAP regime places upon carmakers to fit AEB systems that can identify pedestrians and cyclists.

“The cyclist AEB assessment is one of Euro NCAP’s most demanding tests – it happens quickly, and systems must be more sensitive to the erratic movement signature of a human being riding a bicycle.

“Without such AEB systems in place, carmakers will struggle to achieve a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating.”

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