Matthew is Director of Research at Thatcham Research. His current role involves liaison with Insurers, vehicle manufacturers, legislators and global NCAP initiatives in all aspects of crash testing, with a view to encouraging safer designs and more cost-effective vehicle repair.
Matthew has led much of the research work into ADAS testing, is a board member of Euro NCAP and has been pivotal in the definition of test procedures to evaluate Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems (AEB) – these tests now being integrated into the UK Insurance Group Rating system and Euro NCAP and include pedestrian and cyclist detection crashes. His latest work has supported the development of new Lane Support and Junction Crash prevention test procedures.
Matthew acts as a key technical advisor for the UK Insurers and works with the Association of British Insurers advising in new assisted and automated driving technology and its future implications feeding into new UK Government Legalisation around autonomous cars.
Synopsis of presentation to PACTS Safer & Greener Vehicles conference.
Consumer ratings have driven car occupant safety performance for the last 25 years. Euro NCAP began as a UK initiative in 1997 and since then has tested and rated over 600 cars. Over this time there has been a 65% reduction in occupant KSI. This is largely down to improvements in vehicle structure and restraints and is driven by the 5 star rating system the produces transparent guidance for consumers and car buyers. The UK Gov is now only procuring 5 star rated vehicles and other companies have followed suite. The rating process is constantly evolving, and so building on the original passive safety crash tests, active safety collision avoidance tests were added in 2014, these now cover passengers and cyclists. New ratings looking at Tertiary safety and Assisted driving ensures that consumers have comprehensive information around safe car choices.
As transportation continues to evolve so does the work of the organisation with recent focus on van safety and the development of new heavy commercial vehicle assessments. Green NCAP was a new initiative that looks to give similar information to the consumer around the environmental choice and there’s potential to align these two programs in the future. A new roadmap taking all these ratings to 2030 is being authored and its likely to include automation, other transport modes like e-scooters and automated pods to further broaden its relevance and reach as mobility diversifies, to ensure consumers and mobility users can continue to make a safe and environmental choice.