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NHTSA to Make Changes to Vehicle Safety Rating System

American regulators are proposing to adapt the vehicle safety ratings system in place in the U.S. to allow for more accurate ratings and the incorporation of new tests. The NHTSA plans on instituting half-star increments in ratings it awards vehicles starting with 2019 models. Pedestrian protection and crash avoidance technologies are two new areas of evaluation that will receive consideration in determining scores.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement that the aim of the changes is to “provide more and better information to new-vehicle shoppers that will help accelerate the technology innovations that save lives.”

The changes, which will be preceded by public consultations over the course of the next year, will likely result in carmakers offering more crash-avoidance technologies in more vehicle segments in the coming years, including blind-spot, lane-departure and pedestrian detection systems and automatic emergency braking technology.