World’s First Assisted Driving Grading Unveiled
Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP have launched brand-new Assisted Driving assessments to give motorists the crucial insight they need to understand how to use today’s assisted driving technology safely.
Many new vehicles feature assisted driving systems that have been developed to support the driver. However, there is significant potential for carmakers to overstate the capability of their current assisted driving technology and for motorists to misuse it. Confusion around the limitations of these systems has resulted in serious road collisions – and deaths.
Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP have therefore stepped in to bring much-needed clarity and understanding, via the new Assisted Driving Grading.
“The systems that are currently allowed on our roads are there to assist the driver – but do not replace them,” Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research's director of research, explained. “Unfortunately, there are motorists that believe they can purchase a self-driving car today. This is a dangerous misconception that sees too much control handed to vehicles that are not ready to cope with all situations.
“Clarity is therefore required to make sure drivers understand the capability and performance of current assisted systems. It's crucial today’s technology is adopted safely before we take the next step on the road to automation. There are safety and insurance implications that must be considered seriously.”
Cars are tested across three performance criteria:
How effective are the speed assistance, steering assistance and adaptive cruise control systems which work together to control the vehicle’s speed and steering?
How accurate is the carmaker’s marketing material? How effectively does the car monitor the driver to ensure they are engaged with the driving process? How easy is it for the driver to interact with the assisted system? How clearly does the car communicate assisted status?
How well does the car protect the driver in an emergency – this could be a system failure, when the driver becomes unresponsive, or if the car is about to collide with another vehicle? What happens when there is a loss of sensor input?
They are then awarded an overall rating:
- Very good (> 160 points)
- Good (> 140 points)
- Moderate (> 120 points)
- Entry (> 100 points)
“The best systems strike a good balance between the amount of assistance they give to the driver and how much they do to ensure drivers are engaged and aware of their responsibilities behind the wheel,” Avery said.
For more information on the vehicles tested so far, please click here.