Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) fitted to vans still have some way to go before they match those fitted to cars, it has been said, following the publication of new safety assessment results.

The annual Commercial Van Safety Ratings were launched by testing organisation Euro NCAP in 2021, with the aim of improving safety information for fleet managers and providing a safer experience for van drivers and other road users.

The latest round of results, judged using tougher criteria than in 2022, saw no vans achieving the top Platinum rating, with the previously top-tier Fiat Professional Ducato dropping down to a second-tier Gold rating alongside the Ford Transit.

The formerly Gold Mercedes-Benz Vito has dropped to a Silver rating, alongside the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Volkswagen Transporter, Renault Trafic, Nissan Primastar, and Volkswagen Crafter.

Bronze-rated vans were the Citroen Dispatch, Citroen Relay, Iveco Daily, Vauxhall Vivaro, Vauxhall Movano, Peugeot Expert, Peugeot Boxer, Renault Master, and Toyota Proace.

The Nissan Interstar continues to be rated as Not Recommended based on its lack of crash avoidance systems.

Unlike Euro NCAP’s car safety assessments, the van ratings are not based on crash tests, but instead on an assessment of the vans’ ADAS.

Under Euro NCAP’s plans, by 2026 vans will be expected to meet the same ADAS requirements as passenger cars, and the van rating will from then on only consider standard fitment across all European markets.

Reacting to the new results, Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer for Euro NCAP-accredited Thatcham Research, said: “As a society, our reliance on commercial vans shows no sign of declining anytime soon. When one of the millions of vans on UK roads is involved in a collision, impact severity tends to be higher than that of a passenger vehicle, which is why Euro NCAP’s rating is focused on the performance of safety technologies that avoid or mitigate crashes.

“With 13.5% of the whole vehicle fleet comprising of vans, it’s important that van drivers, and those sharing the roads with them, are protected. This latest set of results demonstrates that manufacturers are responding positively and it’s of note that the UK’s most popular commercial van, the Ford Transit, secured a Gold rating.

“However, the fitment of crash avoidance technology seen on vans has some way to go before gaining parity with the high levels of standard fitment we enjoy on cars today.”