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Thursday, May 10, 2018

2018 Harmonised Full Frontal Crash Testing at APV

Setting new standards in vehicle crash testing, this month the APV Test Lab completed ANCAP’s first official full frontal crash testing.

By adopting the latest international test protocols for vehicle safety, APV is positioned as one of the most advanced dynamic crash test facilities in the world. Representatives from EuroNCAP were here this week reviewing the results and lessons learn’t - with the objective of ensuring that ANCAP test results from Australia can be recognised internationally. This would position ANCAP and Australia to provide an increased role in supporting the Automotive Industry and Vehicle Safety across the region.

For the first time fully instrumented 5th percentile female crash dummies are put through the rigours of a Frontal Car Crash at 50 kph. This sets a new standard with a far more severe test than prior ANCAP testing or the ADR testing. It simulates a small female adult, who is seated close to the steering wheel and is at higher risk from head injuries and aggressive airbag inflation during a severe frontal crash test. The most modern Vehicle Safety Systems, measure how far forward the seat is located and the weight of the occupant and will tune the airbag firing and seatbelts to better protect smaller adults during such accidents. The new test protocol will encourage all manufacturers to adopt these systems and strive for even higher levels of safety.

Similarly in the past, the sophistication of the safety systems for passengers in the rear seats has not been adequately measured. Now, for the first time we are measuring this and undoubtably will provide valuable feedback to the car companies and encourage the adoption of new levels of safety for passengers in the rear of the vehicle - including of course our children as they are growing up. More often than not, it is our loved ones travelling in the car with us. So this is a really exciting development in Vehicle Safety Testing. Something I strongly support.

Once the official ANCAP ratings are released, we will load video footage of the crash testing onto the site. Footage that is using the worlds most advanced High Speed High Definition (HSHD) photography using Phantom Flex and Veo cameras.

Harry Hickling

Managing Director.

Attached photo - “Harry Hickling, Managing Director with the two new Instrumented 5th Percentile Female Crash Dummies.”


Friday, April 20, 2018

SAE Australia recognises APV with a 2017 Platinum Award.

APV’s makes a broad contribution to Road Safety across Australia and this is no more evident that in assessing the Safety of Accessories fitted to vehicles. The latest 4WDS and SUVs have advanced Safety Management Systems, that include sensors and radars in the front of the vehicle to trigger firing of pretensioner seatbelts and airbags during vehicle crashes along with critical sensors, including radar, for their autonomous systems such as Autonomous Emerging Braking.

APV recognised in 2012 the need to provide additional support to industry in ensuring that accessories do not interfere with such systems. An early adopter of this was the Car Seat Cover manufacturers ensuring that their products are tested at APV in Australia’s only certified Airbag lab to ensure they do not interfere with Airbag deployments.

Testing that Bullbars do not interfere with such systems though, is a very complex issue. At low impacts, you do not want this rigid structure prematurely firing the vehicles airbags, even in a low speed Kangaroo strike. But similarly in a harsh accident we need the vehicles safety systems to perform as designed.

Yet how do we test this and make it affordable for Australia’s Bull Bar manufacturers without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars crash testing vehicles - just to test the bull bar design and fitment? In fact under our testing regimes, it has not been uncommon for us to send the manufacturers back to the drawing board several times before a final product is released onto the Market. This can only be done with APv’s innovative and low cost test programs.

The underlying principle of the testing is found in a sophisticated test methodology that we commenced development of in 2012 that simulates the frontal crash dynamics of the vehicle along with the OEM bumper bar design and mounting surfaces - with back to back testing of the Manufacturers Bull Bar and Mounting systems.

This provides the highest level of assurance possible, without the actual costs of completing full vehicle crash test programs.

It is with great pride that I can recognise the work of our team, as a result of receiving this prestigious award. Thanks SAE.

Harry Hickling

Managing Director.