2024 What Car? Safety Award – Which is the safest new car? | What Car?

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[Music] I’m with Alex Thompson principal safety engineer for that and research a Euro en kep member and an accredited test facility we’re going to consider some of the vehicles that are in contention for the 2024 what car safety award so Alex when people think about safety they generally think about crash protection but there’s much more to it than that isn’t there that’s right there’s four key aspects really to vehicle safety and they include safe driving and how the vehicle can assist with that driving task crash avoidance and trying to prevent the crash from happening in the first place crash protection where the vehicle protects the occupants and other Road users from the consequences of a crash and then there’s post crash care how the vehicle can help inform the emergency services to respond to the scene of a crash so how has crash safety improved over the last 20 25 years since your en cap started assessing cars crash safety has come a long way in the past 25 years and vehicles have been designed so their structures are able to absorb energy from a crash the compartments remain intact and stable and therefore maintain an occupant survival space within the vehicle and that helps the restraint systems within the vehicle to work properly that’ll be the seat belts pre-tensioners airbags for example how they can protect the occupants from the deceleration of a crash and hopefully keeping them safe so what are the most sign ific new developments in crash safety some of the more recent developments include the assessment of compatibility and that’s how well a larger vehicle can share the crash energy with a smaller vehicle so that the outcomes are better managed in other areas we’ve seen the Improvement of side impact protection so we’re seeing more Center airbags between occupants that can help prevent heads from banging together in a crash which can cause really serious injuries pleasingly all of the cars on this year’s short list have been fitted with a center airbag bag between the driver and passenger that’s a really important feature for safety and it’s a new feature that we see on cars like the byd seal and the Lexus RZ behind us so thinking about this year’s safety award contenders are there any vehicles that really stand out in terms of Crash protection one vehicle does stand out from the rest which is the volksvagen id7 that scor really well in tests where there’s a smaller stature driver and rear passenger which shows that the restraint systems can work really well with a range of occupant statures in different seating positions around the car and that’s a really important feature for crash safety so all that sounds really good but are there any areas where crash protection can still be improved well there is one area where crash protection can be improved for vulnerable Road users so pedestrians cyclists and motorcyclists that’s an area where we still see a large number of people on the roads being killed or seriously injured the design of vehicles to help manage the energy of those impacts is really important and some Vehicles can do this by deploying systems such as pop-up Bonnets and that’s something that we’ve seen this year on the BMW 5 series and the Volkswagen id7 of course while crash protection is a really key aspect of vehicle safety there’s also active Safety Systems which can help to prevent the crash in the first place so to find out more about these active Safety Systems we’re going to visit clam’s test track and meet vehicle technology specialist Tom leot hi Tom well can you tell me a bit more about the active systems that are fitted to cars that really help to improve safety yes so when we talk about active safety really what we’re talking about here is Crash avoidance and that’s part of this safety timeline that we’ve talked about before so when it comes to crash avoidance it’s all about preventing the accident happening altogether in the first place and a lot of the vehicles we have here fitted with cameras and Radars may help detect other objects on the road such as cars and pedestrians and again they can help detect them and prevent the accident happening allog together along with the normal tests that we do that involve autonomous emergency breaking and Lan keep assist we actually have a new test this year called cyclist dooring so that’s where a cyclist is riding alongside the car and as the driver tries to open the door it can warn the driver and say to them watch out there’s a cyclist there and some cars such as the id7 and the Lexus RZ behind me they actually go a step further so they can prevent that door from opening to stop you striking that cyclist and it’s these small safety innovations that really make a big difference so that’s one new test what other Innovations have been introduced this year so this year there’s been a really big focus on vulnerable Road users creating new scenarios that are more representative of the kind of accidents that people will see on the real world so this year we’ve introduced a new test called Turn across path so that’s where a vehicle is turning into a road but then there’s also a pedestrian Crossing that road at the same time this is a very complicated test there also a lot more dynamic as well and what we check is that the vehicle is able to detect that that person and obviously avoid having a collision with them in the first place so it’s great to see Vehicles like the BMW doing really well in that brand new test are there any new developments to help motorcyclists yeah absolutely so there’s a new test this year that involves a motorcyclist dummy Target so motorcyclists are typically very difficult for these systems to detect because they often move very quickly and their visual profile is also very small so it’s great to see new brands like byd adhering to these new test protocols and also performing really well at them so what sort of things are you looking for for in the safe driving aspect of the safety timeline so the safe driving is all about that collaborative part of the vehicle working with the driver and just supporting them and encouraging much safer behaviors so a really good example is the id7 where the lane keeping in the past has had very poor customer feedback about being far too intrusive and maybe even a little bit too aggressive however from the testing that we’ve done we can see that the id7 actually has a really good support system it works with the driver and it’s there when you need it rather than feeling too intrusive and annoying so now we’ve seen these cars in action and we’ve heard how well they keep people safe which one of these vehicles we Crown the 2024 wat car safety award winner so the winner is the Volkswagen id7 not only did it perform really well across the board at all the Euro encap categories also performed particularly well in the frontal impact test which really assesses against different statures of occupants it’s also great to see Volkswagen improving their Lane keeping system not only did perform really really well at the Euro ENC cap tests it’s also really much more collaborative with the driver

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