Department for Transport - Transport Technology and Standards

Programme details

DfT International Vehicle Standards

Department for Transport - Transport Technology and Standards
United Kingdom
Programme type: Funding programme
Origin: National (United Kingdom)
Duration: 1992 - Ongoing
  • Outline
  • Funding
  • Projects
  • Contact
Background & policy context: 

This programme contributes to three of the Department's generic research themes: Safety, Congestion and Environment. Vehicle technology research supports delivery of the PSA road casualty reduction targets by identifying and enabling desirable policy development in the area of vehicle design and construction. The research seeks to identify and gain an engineering understanding of advances in technology that have the potential to address key issues affecting accident causation and effect.

Strategic Objectives: 

Research is undertaken with the following aims:

  • (1) to identify those areas of vehicle design that may reduce the propensity for accident involvement and those that are significant with respect to casualty rates and severity,
  • (2) to strengthen the knowledge and evidence base upon which policy decisions can be taken,
  • (3) to ensure that regulatory standards keep pace with technological development, and
  • (4) to identify policy options that minimise the burden on industry whilst delivering improved safety standards.
Programme organisation: 

The transport policy context and organisation are indicated by the programme's nine sub-themes:

  • Primary Safety: The theme draws together the vehicle engineering aspects which 'as far as possible reduce the risk of an accident occurring'. The theme has three sub-categories; vehicle braking and stability, vision/conspicuity, and electronics. In this theme projects support the Department's commitment to improve vehicle braking, the user understanding of the technology and its application. Supporting the Department's general aim to improve consumer information, a longer term project is investigating the potential to rank vehicles according to their primary safety performance, and develop a dissemination strategy. This work follows the success of the EuroNCAP scheme for ranking cars according to their secondary safety performance. The Department is also committed to develop standards for tyre grip following the introduction of maximum noise limits. This work will undertaken collaboratively at international level and will include the Global Technical Regulation group for tyres. Under the electronics sub-theme is a long-term project to consider the use of Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) to reduce accidents and casualties. This project builds upon commitments in the Road Safety Strategy and the Speed policy review and is developing a series of user trials to understand better the behavioural aspects of drivers using this technology.
  • Secondary Safety: Car secondary safety offers the greatest potential for reducing the number and severity of casualties from accidents (especially deaths and serious injuries). Secondary safety can be defined 'as all structural and design features that reduce the consequences of accidents as far as possible'. The theme is sub-divided into Biomechanics, Structural Crashworthiness, and Restraint/Safety systems. The theme addresses specific topics such as the crashworthiness of cars, air bags, seat belts & fixings, seating, children safety seats and installation, interior fittings, the protection of pedestrians involved in accidents, motorcycle helmet construction. It also covers the departmental involvement in the EuroNCAP safety tests. This research is providing essential evidence to underpin policy across these areas and is informing negotiations at both national and international levels. Due to the international dimension, however, progress depends upon many factors.
  • Heavy Vehic
Leading Institutions:

Public institution

Department for Transport
Type of funding: 
Public (national/regional/local)
Participating countries: 
United Kingdom
Total number of projects: 


Projects covered: 

Examples of projects within this programme include:

Criteria for Automatic Illumination of Stop Lamps - Review of Secondary Safety Priorities - Integrated Safety Guards and Spray Suppression for Heavy Goods Vehicles - Motorcyclists Helmets and Visors: Test Methods and New Technologies - Co-operative Crash Injury Study (CCIS) - Development of Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) Standards - Measuring Social-Spatial Inclusion and Exclusion in Charging Infrastructures - Advanced Protection of Vulnerable Road Users (APVRU)

Project Profiles:
  1. An Assessment of Cars for Small Drivers
  2. Assessing compliance of HGV trailer braking systems (S0133/VD)(O)
  3. Commercial Vehicle Safety: Accident Studies Phase 2
  4. Compliance of HGV Trailer Braking Systems (S0133/VD)
  5. Criteria for the automatic operation of stop lamps (S0020/VD)(O)
  6. Design Guidelines for In-Vehicle Information Systems Producers
  7. Development of a test procedure for measuring tyre wet grip - Phases 1 and 1b S340D/VD)(O)
  8. Development of a test procedure for the measurement of truck tyre wet grip (incorporating the measurement of truck tyre rolling resistance) (S340D(T)VD)(O)
  9. Development of Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) Standards
  10. Driver Perception of the Performance of the Secondary Braking Systems
  11. Electronic vehicle identification
  12. Framework arrangement on vehicle lighting research (S0021/VD)
  13. Improvements of vehicle crash compatibility through the development of crash test procedures (S0214/VE & S0215/VF)
  14. Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) research - national and international (S0034/VD)
  15. Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) research - national and international (S0034/VD)(O)
  16. Limiting factors for improving heavy goods vehicle (HGV) brake performance (S284B/VD)(O)
  17. Network for dynamic route guidance
  18. Optimising interaction between drivers and driver information systems
  19. Pedestrian Protection: Test Procedures and Design
  20. Primary New Car Assessment Programme (PNCAP) Phase 2
  21. Primary Safety New Car Assessment Programme (PNCAP) (S095D/VD)
  22. Primary safety new car assessment programme (S095D/VD)
  23. Proposed reduction of car crash injuries through improved smart restraint development technologies (S0223/VF) (O)
  24. Protective Helmets: Motorcycle, Pedalcycle and Human Head Tolerance
  25. Quantitative Evaluation of the Cost-Benefit of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Deployment
  26. RESPONSE 2 (S0024/VD)
  27. RESPONSE 2 (S0024/VD)(O)
  28. Road traffic adviser - Evaluation
  29. S0010/VF Biomechanics and the evaluation of whiplash associated disorder (WAD) injury (O)
  30. S0011/VF Assessment of airbag effectiveness
  31. S0012/VF Airbag interaction: Children and Thor dummy (O)
  32. S0014/VF Evaluation of child dummies (O)
  33. S0015/VF Advanced side impact dummy (O)
  34. S0016/VF Seatbelts - requirements for minibuses and coaches (O)
  35. S0017/VF An assessment of cars for small drivers
  36. S0023/VE Investigation into the effects of belted passengers on the rollover protection of coaches
  37. S0028/VE Roadside weight testing of abnormal indivisible loads (O)
  38. S0031/VD Motorcycle unofficial import standards and brake testing load transfer simulation (O)
  39. S0033/VD Construction standards of 'Go-Peds' and similar vehicles
  40. S0044/VE Security of cross loaded timber
  41. S0046/VC Euro NCAP car purchases (O)
  42. S0047/VC Euro NCAP Expert Support (O)
  43. S0048/VC Euro NCAP Testing (O)
  44. S0075B/VF On The Spot accident investigation (O)
  45. S0114/VF Assessment of advanced restraint systems (O)
  46. S0115/VC Review of the Co-Operative Crash Injury Study (CCIS) accident database (O)
  47. S0126/VF CHILD: Advanced methods for improved child safety (O)
  48. S0131/VE Integrated safety guards and spray suppression for HGVS (O)
  49. S0210/VE Long vehicle manoeuvrability (15m) (O)
  50. S0211/VE The heavy vehicle crash injury study (O)
  51. S0213/VC Cost benefit analysis of motorcycle emissions for single vehicle approval (MSVA)
  52. S0220/VF Development of Improved Global Side Impact Test Procedures (O)
  53. S0225/VF New Programme for the Assessment of Child Seats (NPACS)
  54. S0227/VF Potential casualty saving from fitting blind spot mirrors to HGVs
  55. S0232/VF Motorcyclists Helmets and Visors - Test Methods and New Technologies
  56. S0316/VF - Review of Secondary Safety Priorities
  57. S0320/VE Prevent Passenger Ejection from Buses, Coaches and Minibuses
  58. S0322/VC On The Spot Accident Investigation - Phase II
  59. S052B/VE Commercial Vehicle Safety: Accident Studies Phase 2
  60. S071H/VF The police fatal accident files data project (O)
  61. S071J/VF Accident report analysis
  62. S076B/VF & S0218/VC The Co-Operative Crash Injury Study (O)
  63. S082E/VF Child occupant protection project (O)
  64. S083D/VF Dummy development - to evaluate spine injuries (O)
  65. S084D/VF Dummy development: brain injury modelling (O)
  66. S086D/VF Improved injury criteria (O)
  67. S095A/VF Side impact barrier development and evaluation
  68. S096B/VF Compatibility, frontal and side impact test procedures (O)
  69. S100L/VF Protective helmets: motorcycle, pedal cycle and human head tolerance
  70. S222C/VF Pedestrian protection: test procedures and design
  71. S240C/VA EEVC and IHRA Web Site Management
  72. S310B/VF Advanced active/adaptive safety systems
  73. S322E/VF Quality and field of vision
  74. Security of Cross Loaded Timber
  75. Simulator standardised assessment of IVIS
  76. SO416/V2: Cell Phone Radar (CPR) - Investigation for Transport Applications
  77. Vehicle, Road, Tyre, and Electronic Control Systems Interaction ( S0132/VD) (O)
  78. VERTEC 2 (S0132/VD)
  79. Virtual testing for extended passive safety (S0049/VF) - TRL (O)
  80. Virtual testing for extended passive safety (S0052/VF) - CIC (O)
Department for Transport
Transport Technology and Standards, Zone 2/03, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street
Contact country: 
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 944 8300
Fax Number: 
+44 (0) 207 944 2196