Perhaps best known by motorists for testing vehicle security systems and for their work in testing seats for whiplash prevention - less well known is the fact that Thatcham Research provide the majority of the data that insurers use to define a car’s insurance grouping. In fact Thatcham Research administer the insurance Group Rating system on behalf of the ABI (Association of British Insurers).
Data for Group Rating purposes includes the vehicle security information that is obtained from Thatcham’s comprehensive New Vehicle Security Assessments, as well as actual and simulated data from a standard low speed impact test in the centre’s Crash Laboratory.
Thatcham Research also have a key role in shaping the designs of new vehicles and the use of materials and technology. Working closely with vehicle manufacturers, the centre has been able to influence vehicle design concepts both in terms of safety and security and through the provision of fully researched repair methods is seen in many quarters as the driving force behind standards in vehicle repair.
Reinforcing their position as opinion leaders and experts in vehicle repair Thatcham’s Automotive Academy provides training and accreditation, both for apprentices at the very start of their career and for more experienced technicians looking to update and reaffirm their skills.
Thatcham Research are also widely recognised for their testing, accreditation and Quality Assurance programmes, which seek to independently verify the performance and suitability of equipment and parts, including aftermarket vehicle security devices, repair equipment and cosmetic vehicle parts.
Most recently, the centre has enjoyed an increasingly influential role in vehicle safety testing on behalf of the widely respected Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme). Thatcham Research now carry out a range of highly complex crash testing scenarios as well as developing new testing protocols for the very latest vehicle safety technologies, including Electronic Stability Control and Advanced Driver Assist Systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking.