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ASEAN gets NCAP safety scheme

Safety test: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has started its own vehicle safety testing authority (left) with a little help from ANCAP.

Crash testing programme takes off in Southeast Asia with ASEAN NCAP

General News logo31 May 2012

THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) now has its own New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) and will crash-test vehicles at a newly-constructed facility in Malaysia.

ASEAN NCAP is the latest addition to the global network of vehicle safety-testing organisations, with a recent focus on developing markets also resulting in the establishment of Latin NCAP in 2010.

Over the past two years, Australian crash-testing authority ANCAP has provided technical and program support to get ASEAN NCAP up and running.

The Australian outfit will continue to mentor ASEAN NCAP as its testing program develops and is helping ensure protocols and procedures are followed to provide meaningful, accurate and reliable test results.

Cooperation between ANCAP and ASEAN NCAP will also help the newly formed organisation align itself with other equivalent organisations around the world.

In February, ANCAP hosted a week-long collaborative event with ASEAN NCAP in Sydney at the Crashlab testing facility.

ANCAP is also a signatory of the memorandum of understanding between Global NCAP, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) and the automobile associations of Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines to establish the project.

ASEAN NCAP will perform frontal offset crash tests and child-protection assessments, using the same five-star rating convention adopted in other regions.

The programme was launched last week as part of Automotive Safety Week 2012, held at Malacca in Malaysia in conjunction with the inaugural Global NCAP annual meeting, culminating in the first crash test at the MIROS PC3 Crash Lab.

ASEAN NCAP’s launch was timed to coincide with the announcement of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA), and the Australian government-backed Automotive Co-operative Research Centre (AutoCRC) says the agreement will strengthen its collaboration with the Malaysian Automotive Institute.

AutoCRC general manager Ian Christensen said MAFTA presents opportunities for the Australian automotive industry to expand its regional engagement – and safety was among the topics of research collaboration.

Other areas of research include lightweight composite materials, virtual engineering tools, alternative fuel powertrains, energy storage systems and improved energy consumption.

Like its equivalents around the world, ASEAN NCAP, which is led by MIROS, aims to improve vehicle safety standards in the region while encouraging a market for safer vehicles and increasing consumer awareness.

ANCAP chief executive officer Nicholas Clarke said the Malaysian road toll was 7000 last year, equivalent to more than four times the deaths per 100,000 people in Australia, where 1300 died on the roads in 2011.

“The establishment of ASEAN NCAP has already proved its worth with the decision by one manufacturer to introduce airbags into one of its models which is currently supplied in the Southeast Asian market without airbags,” he said.

“The implementation of ASEAN NCAP within the Southeast Asian region will help reduce this substantial and unnecessary loss of life through the introduction of safer vehicles.”

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