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Australian Crash Tests To Require Windows That Can Be Opened Underwater

Changes to the Australiasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) are in the works and will include floodwater testing.

The latest protocols for ANCAP come into effect from January 2023 and will encourage car manufacturers to fit vehicles with systems that allow windows and doors to remain functional even if a vehicle enters flood waters or a different body of water, Wheels reports.

Requirements for certain vehicle functions to remain operational after a vehicle is submerged in a body of water are being introduced as part of an extension to ANCAP’s post-crash rescue protocols. These are aimed at assisting first responders in rescuing occupants.

Read Also: See The 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Crash Its Way To A 5-Star Safety Rating In Australasia

The tests will require car manufacturer’s to prove that a vehicle’s doors can be opened from the inside and outside without power. It will also require car manufacturers to ensure windows can be operated for up to 10 minutes after a vehicle is submerged. Those companies that fail to meet these requirements will need to outline a method in the owner’s manual about how to open or break a side window.

“Post-crash response is a critical element in ensuring survivability. Submergence systems require the vehicle’s electronic systems to remain operable once submerged, so that car doors and windows can be opened,” ANCAP chief executive Carla Hoorweg described in a statement. “While it is important never to deliberately enter flood waters in your vehicle, recent flooding events have again reminded us that flooding can unexpectedly take a vehicle and its occupants.”

Other changes will be made to testing protocols from 2023. For example, child presence detection systems will be assessed. These systems monitor the rear seats and must notify the driver through audible or visual warnings if a child is detected to have been left in the vehicle.

Wheels notes that new ANCAP procedures will also monitor how a vehicle’s autonomous emergency braking and lane support systems detect and respond to motorcycles.

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