VMs pass new assisted driving gradings

The latest Assisted Driving Gradings from Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP found that all seven of the mainstream vehicle manufacturers whose cars were tested are committed to fitting robust assisted driving technology at every price point.

The world-first assessments were introduced in October 2020 to support the sensible marketing and safe adoption of assisted driving technology.

Seven new cars were assessed during the latest tests, five of which were electric vehicles (EVs), reflecting the increasing popularity of this type of vehicle within the new car market. Each car was evaluated and rated for the level of assistance, level of driver engagement and effectiveness of the safety back-up offered by their assisted driving systems.

Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s chief strategic research officer, said: “Assisted Driving technology can be a great comfort feature, especially when supporting drivers on long motorway journeys. But it must strike the right balance between offering a meaningful level of assistance and ensuring that motorists don’t sit back and let the system do the driving. We’ve seen the dangerous outcomes on roads around the world when drivers become convinced that their role is secondary.

“These encouraging results reveal solid system performance across a good spread of new vehicles, and the fact that five of the seven cars are full EVs is also positive. It shows the newest cars in this growing sector are being equipped with Assisted Driving technology that delivers comfort and safety benefits to drivers.”

BMW’s iX3 emerged as the top performer, scoring 169 points out of a possible 200, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E scored 152 points and Cupra Formentor 144 points. The other cars assessed were the Polestar 2 (135 points), Hyundai Ioniq 5 (126 points), Toyota Yaris (109 points) and Vauxhall Mokka-e (101 points).

Avery said: “All seven cars we’ve just tested are clearly marketed as having ‘driver assistance’ functions, not ‘automated’. These systems are engineered to involve and support the driver in a very cooperative manner. They’re certainly not trying to offer automation, where the driving task can be relinquished to the vehicle, and we strongly believe that’s the right thing to do.”