Automobile manufacturers selling vehicles in the ASEAN region will have to step up when it comes to safety. That is because the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP) made it harder to earn a perfect 5-star safety rating.

The agency announced that they implemented new safety testing protocols and the grading system. The new tests require vehicles to be fitted with more driver-assist technologies to reduce passenger- and motorcycle-related accidents.

Following the new ASEAN NCAP 2021-2025 Protocol, the agency will now rate vehicles under four different categories: Adult Occupancy Protection (40%), Child Occupancy Protection (20%), Safety Assist (20%), and Motorcyclists Safety (20%). For reference, the previous testing protocols only focused on Adult Occupancy Protection, Child Occupancy Protection, and Safety Assist.
Under Motorcyclists Safety, the ASEAN NCAP will award points for vehicles fitted with safety technologies such Blind Spot Assist, Automatic High Beam, Advanced Rear Visualization, and Pedestrian Protection.

Along with Motorcyclists Safety, the agency now includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) under Safety Assist. It joins Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Seatbelt Reminder (SBR).

So what is the first car tested under the new ASEAN NCAP 2021-2025 Protocol? That would be the Perodua Ativa, Malaysia's version of the Toyota Raize and Daihatsu Rocky. It managed to score a total of 83.40 points, earning a 5-star rating, even with the more stringent testing. To distinguish vehicles tested using older protocols, those tested with the 2021-2025 protocols feature a maroon-colored badged. Meanwhile, those tested with older protocol feature a blue-colored badge.

“With this protocol, we are not only protecting the safety of the vehicle occupants but also taking into consideration the safety of other vulnerable road users especially motorcyclists as statistics showed a high number of fatalities amongst this group of road user in the South East Asia region,” said ASEAN NCAP Secretary-General and Acting Chairman Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr. Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim.

According to the ASEAN NCAP, the increase in accidents involving pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists in the ASEAN region made them revise the testing protocols to make roads safer for everyone.