BMW used 530d models to successfully complete the first crash test to include brake intervention. Impact speeds were reduced from the normal 64km/h to only 40km/h.
BMW, in conjunction with DEKRA (Deutscher Kraftfahrzeug-Überwachungs-Verein), has successfully tested 530d models fitted with preventive protection systems. These anticipatory assistance systems found in some new 5 and 7 Series models basically work by sensing an impending collision, thereafter taking steps to minimise the inevitable damage.
Firstly the car's advanced sensors will sense a probable collision. A preliminary visual warning that appears as a red car symbol on the instrument panel and the HUD, will then be issued. Simultaneously brakes are automatically applied very slightly in order to build up brake pressure faster for the moment when the driver finally steps on the pedal.
Should the system detect that the driver's intervention will no longer be of consequence it will apply emergency braking in order to reduce the speed on collision.
The result was that during the 530d test the normal 64 km/h impact speed applied in conventional Euro NCAP crash-testing was reduced to just 40 km/h. The impact and subsequent damage to the car and occupants was therefore greatly reduced. Keep in mind that NCAP tests are done without applying brakes.
BMW hopes that in completing this exercise it will help open the way for changes in future testing methods, given that in time, more and more cars will have these pre-crash safety systems installed. Current Euro NCAP regulations do not allow them for testing procedures.