NHTSA Requests Public Comment on NCAP Modernization

Proposed Upgrades to Five-Star Safety Ratings Program Would Address Advanced Driving Features, Pedestrian Safety

January 14, 2021 | Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today issued a request for public comment on proposed upgrades to the New Car Assessment Program.

“Thanks in part to NCAP, new vehicles today are much safer than a generation ago,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens.  “Even so, there are still too many fatalities and serious injuries in crashes every year, so it is critical that vehicles keep getting safer in the future, and a modernized NCAP will better enable American families to select vehicles with the safety features they want.”

NCAP is the government’s premier consumer information program for evaluating vehicle safety. The program tests vehicle performance in various crash scenarios and provides an objective rating on a five-star scale to clearly inform consumers of a vehicle’s safety performance.

NHTSA’s immediate planned update to NCAP includes the testing of four additional advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, technologies: lane keeping support, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and blind spot intervention.  These additional four technologies work to mitigate high-frequency and high-risk crash types.  In addition, NHTSA requests comment on how best to develop a rating system for ADAS technologies included in NCAP’s crash avoidance program and other potential programmatic changes.

“These upgrades will make NCAP more dynamic,” Deputy Administrator Owens said. “American car buyers want safety, and NHTSA wants to empower them with comparative safety information about vehicles in the market.  This information creates powerful market-based incentives for automakers to invest in advanced safety technologies that will save lives and prevent injuries.”

NHTSA will take comments on the proposal for 60 days.


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