The conference was dedicated to traditional outsiders in terms of safety - compact cars and their passengers.
Since its founding in 1997, EuroNCAP has conducted more than one crash test, allowing customers to clarify their choice after demonstrating the passive safety of a vehicle. Initially, the technique was focused on frontal impacts and yielded heterogeneous results: estimates diverged by several "stars" even within the same "weight category". This is understandable: at that time, not all European and Japanese cars were even equipped with a driver airbag in series.
Gradually, the passive safety of classmates began to level off, and the results were increasingly rated "good" and "excellent." But it was too early to calm down. It was decided to complicate the EuroNCAP methodology by adding a side crash test, simulation of collision with a pole and a pedestrian, as well as a children's test. And then it became clear that there are no limits to perfection - most small class cars, first tested for "lateral" strength, were unsuccessful, and pedestrian and children's tests were completely failed.
At this point, the influence of EuroNCAP on manufacturers has already made it possible to more accurately direct their efforts. Largely due to this, in the last few years, many innovations have been introduced, or at least developed, that raise the bar to a higher level.
The last “squeak” of technology concerns the modernization of the most effective tool at the moment - the seat belt. Many firms - for example Renault, Honda and BF-Goodrich - are preparing to combine the belt with an inflatable pillow. The ideas are similar. A traditional pillow tube takes the place of a traditional belt. In case of an accident, at the command of acceleration sensors, the squirt tube is inflated.
Inflatable belts solve several problems at once: firstly, they press a person to the seat more reliably and with less risk of injuring the chest than a traditional belt with a pretensioner. Secondly, the cervical vertebrae protect against injuries during the inevitable bite of the head.
The French are still testing a seat belt for second-row passengers. Why for them? According to Renault experts, airbags installed in the backs of the rear seats are often ineffective - it is difficult to accurately calculate the trajectory of a person sitting behind. And the 60-liter cushion belt does its job perfectly.
PILLOW UNDER THE HOOD
It would seem that what can be done with a rushing steel tool weighing a ton so that it will spare a person in a collision? Something has already been done. In 1998, Honda announced the creation of the world's first POLAR-1 pedestrian dummy, which made it possible to present in detail what a person experiences when hitting. Two years later, a more “humane” design appeared, generously equipped with sensors, the POLAR-2 mannequin.
The research results were taken into account when creating the “soft” front design on the Civic model in 2001. The legs are considered the most vulnerable - they have the first blow, and the head - few manage to avoid a blow to the hood. Most modern Honda models reduce the likelihood of injuries by 5–10%. A little … but dashing trouble began! According to calculations, this indicator can be brought up to 40%!
Experts believe that for this it is enough to create a kind of air cushion between the hood and the rigid elements of the engine compartment. In practice, it looks like this: three sensors in the bumper and a speed sensor in the engine compartment register contact with a person. And immediately the electric motors lift a part of the bonnet near the windshield by 100 mm - the pillow is ready!
MEDICINE FOR THE FORGOTTEN
Are we so often punished in childhood with a belt that today we punish ourselves, ignoring the call to buckle up? As it turned out, it’s still possible to make the most naughty of us use the belt, and at the lowest cost.
For some time now, EuroNCAP has been rewarding car manufacturers with extra points during the frontal crash test for installing seat belt sensors. It must be said that this innovation, which is primitive against the background of space know-how, gives excellent results: more and more cars come out of factories with buzzers, the persistent, often increasing speed of which even the most stubborn motorists cannot withstand for a long time. Only one way out - to buckle up. Just like all ingenious …
EXPERIENCE ON “PEOPLE”
Let us return from theory to practice and take a look at the cars that have been recently tested on cars from the “risk group” - “A” and “B” classes. The photo shows the test results according to the latest EuroNCAP rules for some popular models in Russia. Recall the evaluation methodology. If the machine has side pads for the head or “curtains”, it passes two tests - a hit on a pillar at a speed of 29 km / h and a traditional side test at 50 km / h. For a successful outcome of the first test, two additional points may be awarded. The maximum score for a side test is 18 points.
In a frontal test at a speed of 64 km / h, the car gets up to 16 points. An additional three points can be earned if there are seat belt warning devices - one point for the sensors of each of the front passengers and a third for warning from the rear. Thus, the maximum possible overall score is 37 points.
Pedestrian safety is checked separately according to the test results using adult and child mannequins and simulation of collision at a speed of 40 km / h. The maximum score is 12 points.
The methodology of the children's test, in which you can earn up to 49 points, is intended only for cars equipped with Child Restraint System (CRS) systems, in particular, connectors for Isofix child seats.
For clarity, the assessment is duplicated by stars, which, however, do not give a complete picture. In order not to grab stars from the sky, pay attention to the exact score!
A 5-star rating brings the latest Peugeot 1007 to its passenger protection class leader. The extremely rigid body structure protects adults in frontal and lateral collisions. The safety of children aged 3 years is at a high level, but babies in the “1007th” are not well protected. And for the “meeting” with the pedestrian dummy, Peugeot received only an average rating.
“Modus” went down in history as the first small class car to win 5 stars. But this was possible only on the second attempt after improvements to the driver’s pillow. The machine is equipped with adaptive airbags, pretensioners and load limiters. The rigidity of the body is high, so that experts took away only 2 points from the maximum possible rating. The child is well protected, but the pedestrian test is performed "on the C grade."
A typical example of the fact that there are no trifles in safety. The force limiters on the Getz belt tensioners turned out to be too weak, so high loads were placed on the mannequin's chest, which lowered the score. The side and front airbags worked well; one point was added as a reminder of an unfastened belt. The Goetz pedestrian test did not go well.
“Picanto” was able to win only three stars, which for a beginner is tantamount to failure - during the lateral and frontal tests, the driver and passenger received severe injuries of the chest and legs. For a second test, KIA provided a car with side airbags, which are an option in some European countries. The result of the second blow is better, but still inferior to most modern classmates.
Not the highest test results are explained by insufficient body rigidity. Although the pillow worked, the driver hit his head and chest on the steering wheel. Mediocre rating and for the protection of a child up to three years. Pedestrian safety - at an acceptable level due to the good shape of the hood.