Project: VC-COMPAT Support

Reference: S0228/VF

Last update: 23/12/2008 15:29:32


To underpin the UK contribution on car to car compatibility being carried out for VC-COMPAT, there is a need to undertake the following:

* to complete the initial development and verification of the full width deformable barrier test to control structural interaction;
* the dissemination and integration of the research work within EEVC and IHRA; and
* to produce a partial and full Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the effect of introducing each of the test procedures as developed by project S096B/VF to assess and control car to car frontal impact compatibility.

For a successful outcome, it will be necessary to work closely with VC-COMPAT and within relevant EEVC and IHRA working groups. It may also be necessary to work with the United Nations group of passive safety experts (GRSP) and the International Standards Organisation (ISO).


In 2000 in Great Britain, two-thirds of the road accident casualties were in cars or light goods vehicles. The occupants of these vehicles accounted for just over half of the fatalities and just under half of the seriously injured road accident casualties. The cost to society of these casualties was about £6.3 billion. About two thirds of these accidents were frontal with about 85 percent being an impact with another vehicle. To date, improvements in car safety have been identified as the single most effective way of reducing road accident casualties in Great Britain. In order to help the UK to meet its 2010 road accident casualty reduction targets, to provide further reductions beyond and fully realise the benefits that are being delivered by the frontal impact Directive (96/79/EC), side impact Directive (96/27/EC) and EuroNCAP, steps should be taken to improve compatibility in vehicle to vehicle impacts.

Following the introduction of these Directives and EuroNCAP, improved compatibility offers the next greatest potential for reducing car occupant injury and deaths. A Renault study has estimated that improved compatibility could reduce fatalities and serious injuries by a third in accidents where the car collides with another vehicle (Steyer et al. 1998). Indeed, addressing frontal impact compatibility is considered essential if the improvements in car secondary safety are to be fully realised in accidents on the road and if future advanced restraint systems are to be effective.

The UK has been participating in the work of the European Enhanced Vehicle safety Committee (EEVC) Working Group 15, studying car to car compatibility. This working group is to undertake further compatibility research in a joint project, called VC-COMPAT, funded by member states and from the European Commission (EC) 5th Framework Programme. The main objectives of the project is to develop test procedures to assess and control car to car frontal impact compatibility.

Because of the limited amount of EC funding available it is necessary for additional work to support the detailed development of the test procedures to be performed outside VC-COMPAT as part of individual governments' and motor industry groups' research programmes. The ability of VC-COMPAT to achieve its objectives is reliant upon this additional work.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £391,958.20

Actual start date: 02 June 2003

Actual completion date: 30 March 2008


PPR260. Compatibility and Frontal Impact Test Procedures Additional Work to Support VC-COMPAT - Final Report
Author: TRL Limited
Publication date: 30/10/2007
Source: Contact
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