Enhancements to the 2019 New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)

NHTSA Just Issued a Notice Regarding Changes Coming to NCAP:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released on Wednesday, January 19th, 2017 a second notice regarding changes that they are planning to make to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). This document provides or references certain updates to information that December 16, 2015 notice contained. These updates include: (1) modifications to information or materials previously provided, (2) new information that completes the technical basis for the planned changes to NCAP, and (3) a discussion of the new 5-star safety rating system.

Click here to read a copy of this notice.

These changes affect the three traditional crash modes of Full Frontal, Side Oblique Pole and Side MDB.  The changes also include the addition of a new Frontal Oblique Crash Test.

Schedule Your Tests with the Experts

Calspan has been executing vehicle crash tests for the NCAP since the program’s inception and in 2010, began the research work that aided in the agency’s proposed changes. Through this collaboration, Calspan amassed an exceptional level of skill and technical proficiency surpassing any other crash test laboratory in the world. Calspan also now has acquired two THORs!

Calspan is excited to announce that it has acquired 2 THORs; owned by Calspan.

THOR is one of the world’s most advanced crash test dummies. If you are an OEM or 1st Tier supplier, worrying about how to run tests with THOR, how to position THOR, process its data, up against tight development schedules, etc. … stop worrying and put your mind at ease. Let Calspan handle the testing for you!

Having been involved with the new standards, we have summarized the upcoming changes below for your reference:

1. Full Frontal Impact into Barrier

The test will continue to be conducted at 56 (km/h) / 35 (mph) but the dummy type and positioning will change. A THOR 50th percentile male dummy will be placed in the driver’s seat at the mid-track position and a Hybrid III 5th female dummy will be placed in the right front passenger seat in a mid-track position. There will also be a Hybrid III 5th female dummy placed in the second row behind the right front passenger. Both Hybrid III 5th females will be instrumented with the new RibEye Instrumentation for measuring chest deflection.  Contact us to schedule a test!

 2. Side Moving Deformable Barrier (MDB)


The essence of this test will not change however, a WorldSID 50th percentile male dummy will be placed in the driver’s seat instead of the 50th percentile ES-2re male dummy. The SID IIs 5th percentile female dummy will continue to occupy the near-side rear outboard seat of the test vehicle. NHTSA will now have the option to test the left or right side of the vehicle. Only one crash test per vehicle will be executed.  Contact us to schedule a test!

3. Side Oblique Pole

The test conditions will not change, however a WorldSID-50th percentile male dummy will be placed in the front struck-side outboard seating position, replacing the SID-IIs dummy. Similar to the Side MDB, NHTSA will have the option to impact either the left or right side of the vehicle and only one crash test per vehicle will be executed. NHTSA is currently working through the final stages of development and robustness testing of a WorldSID 5th percentile female dummy.  Contact us to schedule a test!

4. Frontal Oblique

This new test mode consists of a stationary vehicle oriented at 15 degrees and 35 percent overlap to the new Oblique Deformable Barrier (OMDB).  This OMDB will have a suspension, a wider face plate than the barrier outer track, a new barrier honeycomb and will weigh 2486 (kg) / 5480 (lb).

In this test the OMDB will travel at 90 (km/h) / 56 (mph) into the front of a stationary test vehicle.  For this test, two THOR 50th percentile male dummies will be required, one placed in the front driver position and the other in the front passenger position.  An abort system is recommended to ensure that the OMDB does not have a secondary impact with the test vehicle.  Contact us to schedule a test!

Calspan has the NCAP Experience … Work with the Best

“We have the intrinsic and most up to date knowledge on how to set-up the test vehicle, interpret the seating procedure and have the custom processing scripts to calculate injury values,” says Greg Campbell, Senior Director of Transportation. “Our knowledge on THOR goes well beyond just running this test.  We understand its instrumentation and have the ability to calibrate this dummy.”  Calspan also has a unique asset at our disposal to stop the OMDB post impact, after separation occurs between the OMDB and the test vehicle.  This guarantees that a secondary impact between the OMDB and the test vehicle does not occur.

To date, Calspan has executed well over 130 high quality oblique crash tests for NHTSA, the world’s top 10 vehicle manufacturers and its safety restraint suppliers. Furthermore, Calspan has produced OMDB’s for vehicle manufacturers and executed Sled tests in support of restraint system development. Calspan is well positioned to support global vehicle and restraint system manufacturers through executing vehicle and sled crash tests. 

Calspan continues our long tradition of supporting automotive innovators by executing unique and specialized vehicle crash tests to gather previously unavailable data. Whether it’s to solve a problem, make a comparison or simply for pure research, we take a methodical approach to developing and executing vehicle tests.


Calspan possesses unrivaled proficiency and in-depth experience with:

  • Design and development of unique vehicle testing software, processing routines, hardware and equipment.
  • THOR with advanced lower leg instrumentation (LX Legs). This includes inspection, qualification, using diagnostic equipment for test set-up, tilt sensor readout, completing the Dummy Damage Checklist, repair and in-vehicle positioning to the latest NHTSA THOR seating procedure.
  • Conducting oblique tests utilizing a proven, Calspan designed secondary abort system utilized to inhibit the Oblique Moving Deformable Barrier (OMDB) from causing a secondary impact with the test vehicle.
  • Design and fabrication of an OMDB.

Calspan not only designed and implemented enhancements to NHTSA’s OMDB, but we also developed NHTSA’s OMDB drawing package and constructed OMDBs for ourselves and numerous vehicle manufacturers.

Customer Benefits

Calspan customers that engage our expertise in the area of Research and Custom Tests receive innumerable benefits, including our ability to:

  • Provide custom vehicle crash test results and data in their specific/native format.
  • Make investments in support of their programs.
  • Develop their test plan, which includes giving advice and making specific recommendations.
  • Focus on designing research/discovery/analysis/development type tests.
  • Design and fabricate custom test fixtures and equipment.
  • Ensure customers receive exactly what they want through a close partnership during the program.

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about NHTSA’s 2018 proposed changes to NCAP, you can check out NHTSA’s Fact Sheet and Video, click here.

If you would like to read the full RFC which details every change that is coming to NCAP, click here.

For the latest published oblique test procedures, OMDB drawing package, etc., select the following link: “NHTSA Oblique Tests.”