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Vehicle engineering test facility (FTVA) – Crash test facility

BASt’s crash test facility is used for scientific findings of active and passive vehicle safety. Furthermore BASt is an Euro NCAP accredited test laboratory, where all types of EURO NCAP crash tests (frontal, side and pole impact as well as whiplash) are performed.

The picture shows the inside of the crash test facility Picture: Uwe Freier

Our social responsibility includes increasing the safety of all road traffic participants and reducing environmental stress due to traffic. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is responsible for the development of national and international regulations to prevent accidents (active safety) and to alleviate the consequences of accidents (passive safety).

The BMVI uses the expertise and knowledge of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) in pursuing these goals. BASt participates in several working groups of relevant EU committees, UNECE expert groups (GRE, GRSP) as well as the European Enhanced Vehicle-Safety Committee (EEVC).

The picture shows 2 Crashtests Lateral crash with a deformable barrier at 50 km/h (left) and frontal offset impact into a fixed deformable barrier at 64 km/h (right) (pictures: Uwe Freier)

These committees develop regulations, such as those for child restraint systems, pedestrian protection and occupant protection in case of a frontal or lateral impact. BASt is an accredited institution that has been nominated by the EU Commission for various testing tasks in these areas.

The requirements for the active and passive safety of vehicles can only be handled on the basis of own scientific findings. BASt is using its full-scale test facility, the Vehicle Engineering Test Facility (FTVA), for this purpose. Most tests are conducted inside a hall. The outside area in front of the hall is used for special tests, for example rollover tests.

Passive vehicle safety, biomechanics

The research work of BASt in the field of passive vehicle safety provides important contributions to the improvement of safety standards for motor vehicles at a national and international level.

Undertakings for the introduction of new and the extension of existing EU directives and ECE regulations include, for example:

  • Further development of EU directives concerning lateral and frontal impact test methods.
  • Contribution to draft regulations for the protection of pedestrians.
  • Continuous adaptation and amendment of the EU directives, ordinances and UNECE regulations, taking new technical developments into account. Regulations for airbags, vehicle seats/headrests, child restraint systems and validation of new dummy types are of particular importance.

The EU Commission financially supported specific investigations concerning these regulations in the past and is supporting them at present. In this way, BMVI receives the results early and in a cost-efficient manner. The transport ministry has also access to all findings resulting from research projects performed for third parties, since such orders are only taken if the BMVI and/or the BASt have a considerable interest in the results.

The picture shows 2 Crashtests Car versus truck crash within the scope of research work for frontal underrun protection device of trucks (left, picture: Uwe Freier) and rollover test at the outside area of the FTVA (right)

As the representative of BMVI, BASt participates in the Euro NCAP Consortium (European New Car Assessment Programme). BASt is an Euro NCAP accredited test laboratory. In 2006, BASt was also accredited by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025.

All types of EURO NCAP crash tests (frontal, side and pole impact as well as whiplash) are performed at the FTVA. The experience gained during testing on behalf of German government institutions, at the request of Euro NCAP and on behalf of vehicle manufacturers enables BASt to play an important role in the ongoing improvement of the Euro NCAP.

Technical data

  • Hall area: 15 m x 80 m
  • Area of laboratory facilities:10 m x 50 m
  • Length of approach track: 130 m (including 80 m inside the hall)
  • Circular area: 85 m diameter
  • Mobile crash block, weight 90 t, with foundation 340 t
  • Filming pit: 2.50 m x 4 m, depth 4 m
  • Lighting: 150 000 lux
  • Climate chamber: -20 °C to +80 °C
  • Mobile system of protective boards


  • Hydraulic motor
  • hydro-pneumatic energy storage system
  • Power: 1.3 MW
  • Torque: 8 500 Nm
  • Drive power:

    • 120 km/h with vehicle mass 3 200 kg or
    • 50 km/h with vehicle mass 16 000 kg
    • Maximum impact speed: 120 km/h
Special consultant: Bernd Lorenz