Earlier this year, Euro NCAP, the Brussels-based European car safety performance assessment program, introduced new and improved test criteria which reflects whether the tested vehicle features advanced driver assistance systems. Now, the organization is also starting to evaluate these systems and is ready to disclose its first findings based on the results.
The so-called Highway Assist systems of a total of ten cars have been recently tested. These include 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 Volvo V60, all featuring an adaptive cruise control, lane centering system, and speed assist system.
Euro NCAP says that, and you are probably not surprised to hear that, “no car on the market today offers full automation or autonomy,” as all of them “can provide driver assistance but this should not be confused with automated driving.” While these conclusions may look logical to most of you, apparently, a big portion of the drivers believe they actually own a car that can drive itself.
According to a recent study, more than 70 percent of drivers think it is already possible to purchase an autonomous vehicle, if it features the aforementioned systems. Euro NCAP says that the results of the survey are actually “in stark contrast to the current capabilities of such systems.”
“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,” comments Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General.
The test results show that the DS and BMW offer the lowest level of assistance, while Tesla “risks an over-reliance on the assistance system with the vehicle being primarily in control.” The Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, and Volvo offer a balance between the two worlds.
Full results of the evaluations plus videos showing how each car performed in a total of seven different scenarios can be found here.