A new grading system has been launched to help drivers better understand autonomous emergency driving and other assisted driving features on modern cars. The ‘first-of-its-kind’ system has been launched by Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP in response to the “dangerous misconception” that motorists can purchase a self-driving car today.
A grading of very good, good, moderate or entry is awarded to cars – depending on their performance during a number of tests. Cars are marked on three criteria: vehicle assistance (how effective the systems are), driver engagement (whether the car assesses if the driver is still in control of the vehicle) and safety back-up (whether or not the car protects the driver in the event of an emergency).
One system that’s assessed is Highway Assist. The feature uses Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Centering (LC) technology to help drivers maintain a steady speed and keep a safe distance from other cars when driving on a motorway. Thatcham Research warns there is “significant potential for car makers to overstate the capability of their current assisted driving technology and for motorists to misuse it.”
Matthew Avery, Thatcham’s director of research, said: “The systems that are currently allowed on our roads are there to assist the driver – but do not replace them. “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.”