Euro NCAP presents its awards to European automakers for new safety technologies.
Wayne CunninghamManaging Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
During the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Euro NCAP presented nine awards to automakers for new, advanced safety technologies. The awards covered crash prevention and mitigation technologies as well as emergency telematics services.
Here are the nine winning technologies:
Audi Side Assist
A blind-spot detection system, Audi Side Assist shows a warning light when a car is detected on either the right or left rear quarter of the Side Assist-equipped vehicle.
BMW Assist Advanced eCall
When onboard sensors show that a BMW has been involved in an accident, this system dials a BMW call center, sending data about the severity of the accident and likely injuries to passengers, allowing for an appropriate emergency services response.
Honda Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
CMBS uses forward-looking radar to detect obstacles, then calculates the likelihood of a collision depending on driver behavior. If a collision is imminent, it applies the brakes and preemptively tensions the seat belts.
Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE and PRE-SAFE Brake
This Mercedes-Benz system works similarly to Honda's CMBS, pretensioning seat belts and applying the brakes when a collision is imminent.
Opel's Eye system uses a forward-looking camera to identify lane lines and traffic signs. It warns the driver of lane departure and highlights specific types of traffic signs.
Peugeot Connect SOS
Similar to BMW's eCall, Connect SOS uses the car's sensors to detect a collision, then sends a text message to a call center with the vehicles direction of travel and severity of the crash. It then opens a voice connection between car and call center, letting the passengers talk to an operator.
Citroen Localized Emergency Call
Citroen's system is exactly the same as Peugeot's.
Volkswagen Lane Assist
Using a forward-looking camera, Lane Assist detects lane markings and warns the driver when the car is drifting. If the car drifts too far over a lane line, the car automatically turns the steering wheel a little bit to correct the departure.
Volvo City Safety
This Volvo system is designed for low, urban speeds, under 20 mph. It uses a camera to detect obstacles in front of the car, slamming on the brakes if it detects an imminent collision. At speeds under 15 mph, it can brake soon and hard enough to prevent a collision.
Euro NCAP is a European organization, similar to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. Euro NCAP also offers general vehicle safety ratings, similar to NHTSA's star ratings.
These awards are a new service by Euro NCAP intended to highlight new safety technologies for cars sold in Europe. Euro NCAP evaluates the technologies by having staff sit in during automakers' testing.
Of these technologies, Audi Side Assist, Honda Collision Mitigation Braking System, Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE and PRE-SAFE Brake, and Volvo City Safety are currently available in the U.S. Telematics services with emergency call features are also widely available.