David Ward is Secretary General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme.

How to build cars that can't crash

Technology and Business, Safety and Ethics

2025AD Team

2025AD Team



Preventing car accidents from happening at all – that is David Ward’s vision. In a video interview, the Secretary General of Global NCAP explains how he wants to achieve it – and which technology could be a pathbreaker for autonomous driving.

“This is the most exciting development in vehicle safety that we’ve seen in many years.” When it comes to autonomous driving, David Ward can’t hide his enthusiasm. However, he also makes very clear to not forsake the benefits of driver assistance systems available today for the potential benefits of autonomous vehicles available tomorrow. Ward is the secretary of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) – an independent organization that promotes road safety worldwide. After a test ride in a self-driving vehicle, Ward shared his vision of a global accident-free future with 2025AD.

If you don't have the time to watch the full video, you can also find individual video snippets for each question we asked below.


2025AD: What are the key challenges for Global NCAP?


2025AD: What’s the role of driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles on your roadmap of the future?

2025AD: How can acceptance of Driver Assistance Systems (and Autonomous Vehicles) be achieved?

2025AD: What does Global NCAP mean by the ‘democratization of safety’?

2025AD: Road safety basically concerns everybody. How important is a dialogue in such a multi-stakeholder environment?

2025AD: What features would you expect from a car launched in 2025 in order to give it the maximum “five stars” by NCAP?


David Ward is Secretary General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) a UK charity which brings together NCAP’s promoting vehicle safety worldwide. He is also the Chairman of the Stop the Crash Partnership, and Chief Executive of the Towards Zero Foundation which works on safe and sustainable transport issues.


Over the last twenty years David has played a leading role in global public policy on road safety. From 2001 to 2013 he was the Director General of the FIA Foundation, an independent UK based charity promoting safe and sustainable transport. From 2006 to 2015 he served as Secretary of the independent Commission for Global Road Safety which helped to initiate the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020). From 2010 to 2012 he was the Chairman of the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility. From 2007 to 2009 he was President of eSafety Aware a public-private partnership promoting crash avoidance systems. From 1996 to 2006 he was a Member of the Board of the European New Car Assessment Programme. From 1994 to 2001 he was Director General of the European Union representation office in Brussels of the FIA, the international federation of automobile clubs responsible for campaigns promoting improved vehicle safety and emission standards.


Prior to his involvement in road safety David worked in the UK Parliament serving as the Chief Policy Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition, Right Honourable John Smith MP, and before this worked on international development issues for, inter alia, the United Nations Children’s Fund. 
David is 60 years old, graduated from London University in 1979 with a BA in philosophy. He is married to Emma MacLennan, the Director of the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport. They have two children, Alexander (27) and Katerina (25).


<div id="hs_cos_wrapper_Engage_" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_widget hs_cos_wrapper_type_inline_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="widget" data-hs-cos-type="inline_text" data-hs-cos-field="submit_your_story.icon_text">Letter</div>
Submit your story

Become part of our automated revolution and submit your stories, images and videos

Submit your story
Stay informed

Stay up to speed with our mailing list. Enjoy automated driving content direct to your inbox

Join our weekly briefing
Connect with us

Follow us on our social networks for up to date information and thoughts on automated driving