The brand new Ford Focus and Volvo XC40 have become two of the first cars to receive the maximum five-star rating on the latest Euro NCAP tests.
The tests have recently become even stricter than ever, thoroughly testing and analysing any car safety claims to ensure that each vehicle is fully capable of providing safety. The new tests require active safety technologies as well as traditional car safety in order to help Vulnerable Road Users. Road users such as cyclists and pedestrians are just as at risk on the road as drivers, in fact almost half of fatalities on Europe’s roads are Vulnerable Road Users. Cars are now expected to include features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking systems to help keep these road users safe.
The new Ford Focus includes Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, which means that if the driver has not spotted anyone in the road, it will automatically apply the brakes in order to avoid any collision. Of course, Euro NCAP put this to the test and can confirm that the system is as effective as Ford claims. The Euro NCAP tests simulated an adult, child, and cyclist cutting in front of the Focus’ path and in each test, the system reacted well.
The comprehensive range of driver assistance technologies in the Ford Focus have led to it being labelled as bridging the gap between today’s cars and the future’s autonomous cars. The only area where Euro NCAP tests found fault was with the whiplash protection which is not as effective as the tests would like to see them.
The Volvo brand has always been associated with high levels of safety and the XC40 meets these expectations. It also includes its own Autonomous Emergency Braking system which can detect cyclists and pedestrians, although its pedestrian sensors aren’t as powerful as on the Focus.
The XC40 does, however, have Emergency Lane Keeping, which will automatically steer the car safely back into its lane if it has steered away. Overall, the Volvo achieved 97% on the testing, giving it one of the highest safety ratings of any car tested in the last three years.
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