European crash testing organization Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) has launched a new safety testing system which it says will make emerging safety technologies clearer for consumers.

Euro NCAP says that its new Advanced rating is aimed at potential car buyers in Europe who require guidance on sophisticated new software-based safety solutions, such as Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Attention Assist, Autonomous Braking and Emergency Call.

In contrast to the physical crash tests normally conducted by Euro NCAP, it will require manufacturers to provide clear evidence about the benefits of the solution, which will be assessed by an independent panel of experts instead.

Euro NCAP believes that the number of new technologies being implemented on new vehicles, which range from Night Vision systems from BMW to Pedestrian Detection radar from Volvo, could be confusing consumers.

"With these rewards Euro NCAP will add a new dimension to its mission," said Euro NCAP's secretary general Dr Michiel van Ratingen.

"From now on consumers will be able to learn more about the benefits of advanced safety systems in their car and consult Euro NCAP for advice before deciding on purchase."

However, the new Euro NCAP Advance certification will supplement, rather than replace the group's testing of basic crash safety - cars are only eligible for the award if they have already achieved three stars (of a maximum five) in Euro NCAP crash tests.

The first set of technologies to receive the award will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October 2010.

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