As autonomous functions and advanced driver assistance system increase their presence in vehicles, the motoring safety organization Euro NCAP has put the driving technology to the test for the first time.
To highlight how safe the systems actually are, Euro NCAP performed a set of three driving scenario tests on 10 vehicles that were using ‘highway assist systems’ – functions such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Centering and Speed Assist Systems to support the driver in driving situations on motorways.
The Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, DS 7 Crossback, Ford Focus, Hyundai NEXO, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, Toyota Corolla and the Volvo V60 were all tested to give consumers a realistic insight into how effective they are and to clear up the common confusion between driver assistance and autonomous driving.
The three tests focused on Adaptive Cruise Control, steering, and ‘cut in and cut out’, with all models assessed on how they assisted drivers and whether they created a system of over-reliance.
Interestingly, in both the ACC and steering tests, Euro NCAP concluded that the Tesla “risks an over reliance on the assistance system”, while it was revealed that the ‘cut in and cut out’ test, where a car from the adjacent lane merges into the lane just in front of the test car, proved most challenging of all the tests as “all of the cars were found to be seriously lacking”.
With the report claiming that 70% of car drivers believe it is already possible to purchase a car that can drive itself, the findings will help clarify how limited the systems actually are and must be considered as assistance, not systems that will allow the driver to fully reply on the vehicle.
“Euro NCAP’s message from these tests is clear – cars, even those with advanced driver assistance systems, need a vigilant, attentive driver behind the wheel at all times. It is imperative that state-of-the-art passive and active safety systems remain available in the background as a vital safety backup,” said Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general, Euro NCAP.
The full set of results can be found here.