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Crashlab receives $1.6m boost from NSW government

Crash Bandicoot: NSW minister for roads, maritime and freight Melinda Pavey tests out a Subaru XV's autonomous emergency braking system at the Crashlab funding announcement.

Upgraded Crashlab to help ANCAP test advanced drive-assist tech, including AEB

General News logo18 Jan 2018

TESTING of advanced driver-assist systems in Australia received a major boost this week with the NSW government announcing a $1.6 million increase in funding for its Crashlab test facility.

The investment will pay for an upgrade to the existing Crashlab, which is based in Huntingwood, Western Sydney, preparing it to assess new-vehicle safety technologies like autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane support and speed assistance systems.

This additional funding is also timely given the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), an independent vehicle safety authority and user of Crashlab, introduced more stringent assessment requirements on January 1.

Significantly, the extra investment is in addition to the money recently spent on upgrading crash test equipment and acquiring new, more sophisticated dummies for the stricter ANCAP safety program.

Speaking to journalists at the announcement, NSW minister for roads, maritime and freight Melinda Pavey stressed the important role that autonomous technologies play in reducing the road death toll.

“Expanding Crashlab’s capabilities to test new and emerging vehicle safety technologies will support ANCAP in its important role in encouraging the introduction of AEB and other life-saving technologies across the national vehicle fleet,” she said.

“This means that to achieve a five-star ANCAP safety rating, an effective AEB or lane support system will be required on all new vehicles rated.

“These upgrades will see NSW offer a world-class vehicle safety testing capability covering crash protection, and even more importantly, crash prevention.”

ANCAP director of communications and advocacy Rhianne Robson echoed this sentiment, adding that the safety body will now be able to better test required advanced driver-assist systems on Aussie soil, rather than deferring to its overseas counterpart, Euro NCAP.

“The independent assessment of autonomous vehicle safety technologies is a new and important element of the ANCAP safety regime this year, and this commitment from the NSW Government will extend ANCAP’s capability in this area,” she said.

“This investment to expand the service and enable the safety performance of autonomous technologies to be assessed locally will greatly enhance road safety for all Australians.”

As previously reported, prior to the Crashlab funding announcement, ANCAP planned to assess remote-controlled vehicles via 100 different tests at a driver training facility in Tailem Bend, South Australia.

These tests concern all advanced driver-assist technologies – including city, highway and pedestrian AEB systems lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert – in various, consistent scenarios.

ANCAP will also roll out a new scoring system, crash testing regimes and way of marketing its ratings this year, bringing the organisation into line with Euro NCAP's standards.

Significantly, the extra test facility funding is the next chapter in the NSW government's commitment to road safety, having been a founding member of ANCAP, while it’s Roads and Maritime Services agency is responsible for operating Crashlab.

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