Project: EC FIMCAR - Frontal Impact and Compatibility Assessment Research

Reference: S0905/V8

Last update: 27/08/2010 10:14:19


The general objective of FIMCAR is to develop an assessment approach for vehicle-to-vehicle (M1 vehicle total permissible mass less than 3.5t) frontal impact compatibility.


In Great Britain, the number of deaths among car users in 2008 was 1,257, 12 per cent less than in the previous year. The number seriously injured fell by 7 per cent to 10,707. This is very encouraging and has contributed significantly to the number of people being killed or seriously injured in road accidents now being 40 percent below the 1994-98 average. The provisional baseline data suggest that the road safety strategy target set in 2000, for a 40 percent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents (compared with the average for 1994-1998) has been achieved.
Enhanced vehicle safety delivered through a combination of legislative and consumer testing has been a major influence on this reduction through advances and improvements in self protection (such as stronger occupant compartments and improved restraint systems). However, these tests do not take into account the role of the collision partner, which means that new safety designs and features may not perform as well as they could in all real world conditions. There is significant evidence that this is a function of the frontal crash incompatibility of today's vehicle fleet.
Looking beyond our 2010 targets, it is clear that continued and focussed effort is needed to reduce further the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. Improved frontal crash compatibility between cars is widely regarded as offering the potential to make significant steps forward in improved safety through vehicle design. Recent EC research concluded that between 14 and 31% of fatally injured occupants and between 29 and 52% of seriously injured occupants could be positively affected by improvements to vehicle to vehicle crash compatibility.
The FIMCAR project has the ambition of generating a regulatory solution from the available evidence and research base. Its main objectives are to develop test procedures to assess a vehicle's frontal impact protection and complete a costs and benefits analysis for its introduction into the regulatory framework in Europe. The broad project consortia include a large proportion of Europe's major motor manufacturers as well as established experts from a number of European research institutes.
Over recent years, the UK has taken a significant role in the considerable research activity into compatibility. Much of the work has been undertaken with international partners. This has delivered a fundamental understanding of the influencing factors and delivered two candidate suites of test procedures to assess a cars self and partner protection (compatibility). Each of the test procedures has identified strengths and weaknesses, thus further work is required to determine the optimum solution for regulatory application.


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Contract details

Cost to the Department: £120,000.00

Actual start date: 01 October 2009

Expected completion date: 31 March 2012