Europe’s new, more-demanding safety challenges are no problem for the latest Nissan Leaf, which collects five stars from the region’s auto-safety agency.

The new battery of tests includes the introduction of the first cyclist-detection test for automatic emergency braking (AEB).

The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) says the latest 5-star result for the Leaf echoes the success of the result for the original Leaf introduced in 2011 – the first all-electric car to get the agency’s top rating.

“With consumers turning away from conventional engines, especially diesel, and car manufacturers investing heavily in electric and hybrid vehicles, it is crucial that advancements in safety are not compromised by new powertrain systems,” Euro NCAP says in a statement.

“The Nissan Leaf comes with many new safety features and demonstrates that environmental friendliness need not come at the expense of improved safety – the safety of those inside the car and those who share road space with it.”

The Leaf is the first car to be assessed under Euro NCAP’s revised and extended protocols for 2018 that see a raft of new tests.

Cyclist detection with automatic braking technology is tested for the first time on the Leaf and is included with AEB Pedestrian in a new designation called AEB Vulnerable Road Users.

Detecting cyclists presents new challenges to automakers from both a hardware and a software perspective. Sensors must have a wide angle of view to promptly detect fast-moving cyclists, and complex algorithms are needed to ensure correct identification of potential collision threats while avoiding false activations.

Euro NCAP board member Robbert Verweij, senior policy advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Transport, says the drive to save cyclists’ lives inspired the Dutch government to fund the development of a protocol for detecting cyclists.

“This first Euro NCAP release of a AEB-Cyclist-equipped vehicle shows what the joint efforts of governments and cyclists’ associations can achieve in collaboration with Euro NCAP,” he says.

Other rating updates include testing of pedestrian detection in darkness and obscure lighting conditions.

Emergency lane-keeping systems are the newest generation of intelligent lane-support technologies that autonomously take evasive action if the car is in danger of leaving the road or of colliding with another vehicle.

New Euro NCAP tests verify the system reacts to a road edge, marked and unmarked, to ensure the car does not run off-road; that the car returns safely to its lane when an overtaking maneuver is attempted and an oncoming vehicle is detected; and that the car is prevented from inadvertently steering into the path of a vehicle which is overtaking in an adjacent lane.

Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen says the latest updates to Euro NCAP’s active-safety testing focus on both the protection of those inside the car and those who share road space with it.

“Our new assessments demonstrate the increasing level of sophistication that can be achieved by connecting various sensor systems installed on the vehicle,” he says in a statement.

“As the cost of these systems drops and computing capabilities increase, standard vehicles will soon become able to help prevent significantly more complex real-life crashes.”

The Leaf received a 93% grade for adult occupant protection, 86% for child occupant protection, 71% for vulnerable road-user avoidance and 71% for safety assist.