Readout for NCAP Public Meeting

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, October 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hosted a public meeting to gather input from stakeholders to plan next steps for the agency’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The meeting was intended to engage a public dialogue on the latest insights into evolving safety technology, new protocols, ratings systems, and consumer information important to American car buyers.  

The meeting kicked-off with opening remarks by Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King. The Deputy Administrator expressed appreciation to those in attendance for their participation and engagement on the next steps for the consumer information program. She introduced the four main topic areas where the agency was seeking feedback – consumer information, ratings systems, and crash avoidance and crashworthiness strategies.

The first two sessions of the meeting focused on consumer information and the ratings system.  These included strategies for effectively communicating vehicle safety information to consumers (e.g., window sticker content, website), and approaches to the ratings system (e.g., what it should include, how ratings should be combined, frequency of changes). The speakers included representatives from consumer organizations, vehicle manufacturer associations, and an independent research organization.

The third session of the meeting focused on crash avoidance strategies for NCAP. Discussion surrounded the need to incorporate crash avoidance information into the ratings system and on vehicle window stickers, the rapid pace of advanced technologies, and how such technologies may lay the groundwork for Automated Driving Systems, among other suggestions. The speakers included representatives from consumer advocacy groups, vehicle manufacturers, and automotive supplier organizations.  

The final session of the meeting focused on crashworthiness strategies for NCAP. Discussion focused on whether new dummies should be added to regulations prior to use in NCAP, new test protocols, rear seat occupant protection, seat belt reminders, and NCAP ratings for specific groups of the population, among other suggestions. The speakers included vehicle manufacturers, a restraint supplier association, and an independent research organization.

The session ended at approximately 1:30 p.m. with closing remarks from Jennifer Dang, Chief of the NCAP Division.

Approximately 70 stakeholders attended the meeting in person, and many more participated via live webcast.

Additional written comments can be submitted on Regulations.gov (Docket No. NHTSA-2018-0055) from now until October 31, 2018.