Safety Testing

Making an Impact

As the name suggests, Euro NCAP – The European New Car Assessment Programme – are responsible for coordinating independent safety assessments of new vehicles to provide European consumers with an invaluable guide to safety and manufacturers with some clear targets.
As the UK’s only Euro NCAP accredited crash testing centre, Thatcham Research have a key role, both in crash testing to evaluate the protection offered by the vehicle in the event of a crash (secondary safety) and in the development of testing protocols for new technology designed to prevent the crash happening in the first place.
“Vehicle safety has undergone significant progress during recent years and the years to come will involve great changes to take account of the newest and essential technology on offer. I look forward to supporting Euro NCAP’s initiatives and role in Europe to supply consumers with precise safety information and safer vehicles.”                                                                                   Andrew Miller, President of Euro NCAP and Chief Technical Officer at Thatcham Research


Thatcham Research & Euro NCAP
Thatcham Research have been a key member of Euro NCAP – the pan-European, consumer focused vehicle safety organisation, since 2005. In 2012 the centre became the first and only UK based Euro NCAP accredited crash testing centre, but in line with their 2020 road map, the focus now is very much on evaluating the technologies that will stop the crash happening in the first place. A vehicle to vehicle AEB assessment was introduced in 2014 and this was extended further in January 2016. As more sophisticated camera based AEB systems are introduced on many new vehicles the capacity for vehicles to recognise pedestrians and other vulnerable road users becomes possible. In 2018, a test evaluating AEB cyclist detection and avoidance will raise the bar for vehicle manufacturers still further. By 2020, amongst other things NCAP will be looking to evaluate ADAS systems that can provide protection at junctions or intersections.

Industry Credentials

Thatcham Research are:
  • Members of the of P-NCAP working group
  • Members of AEB working Group
  • Chair of RCAR P-Safe primary safety working group
  • Member of NHTSA CIB AEB Group
  • Board members of Euro NCAP
  • Members of Harmonisation Platforms
  • AEB tests targets & evaluation group
  • AEB Round Robin laboratory programme
  • Founding member of RCAR
  • Official Euro NCAP accredited test facility


car X-ray


From crash testing to track testing. AEB to ESC. Auto-parking to auto-steering. Take a trip through our video playlist for an insight into Safety testing with Thatcham Research, including setting up for an official NCAP test to the latest robotised technology in action.


Crash Testing

The Euro NCAP testing programme encompasses a suite of clearly defined occupant protection, crash testing protocols including Frontal Impact, Side Barrier, Side Pole and Whiplash testing. This evaluations also takes into account the protection of vulnerable child occupants as well as any efforts to mitigate the effect on pedestrians.

Track Testing

Out on the track the Thatcham team are also at the forefront of a range of official Euro NCAP testing, the development of test protocols, benchmarking, validation and future research in relation to a wide range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.

Whiplash Testing

Whiplash claims add around £70 to each of our premiums each year. Whilst some claims are notoriously spurious, whiplash is a very real and painful injury. New technology to stop the crash are key to addressing the root of the problem, but robust seats and head restraints are also vital. The Thatcham developed seat testing protocol remains an important part of the overall Euro NCAP safety rating.
The fitment and performance of these active safety technologies carry an increasingly influential weighting in the overall safety assessment of a vehicle and it is now virtually impossible to achieve the full NCAP 5 stars without a good range of effective ADAS systems – in particular AEB.


Thatcham Research
Colthrop Way, Thatcham
Berks, RG19 4NR, UK
Phone: +44 (0)1635 868855
Fax: +44 (0)1635 871346


Company Number: 967763
VAT Number: 199 0313 48
Terms of Use
Privacy Policy