Euro NCAP just released the results of its 2020 Assisted Driving Tests, which compared 10 models' highway assistance systems to determine which is the best.
The agency has developed a dedicated test and assessment protocol, and a grading system. It is divided into two main areas:
- Assistance Competence – a balance between the technical competencies of the system (Vehicle Assistance) and the extent to which it keeps the driver alert and engaged (Driver Engagement)
- Safety Backup, the car’s safety net in critical situations.
"A unique grading system – similar to the fivestar safety rating - helps consumers understand the conclusions of the tests and compare assistance performance at the highest level. Each car falls into one of four categories: Entry, Moderate, Good and Very Good."
According to the results, the top models (‘Very Good’) are the premium German models: Mercedes-Benz GLE, the BMW 3 Series and the Audi Q8, as the offers: "a good balance between offering a high level of driving assistance but keeping the driver engaged and in control of the driving task. They also provide a good crash avoidance backup system and respond appropriately if the driver becomes incapacitated while the car is in assistance mode."
The Tesla Model 3 with Tesla Autopilot was classified at #6 with only a "Moderate" rating, despite it being the top in the Safety Backup (95%) and top in Vehicle Assistance. That's because it scored only 36% in the Assistance Competence category. As the major issue seems to be insufficient Driver Engagement, we guess that Tesla might update the software and become #1 in the near future.
"Tesla’s pioneering role in self-driving technology is reflected in its top scores for Vehicle Assistance and Safety Backup. However, its “Autopilot” system does little to keep the driver engaged. Its distinct steering strategy gives the impression that either the car is driving itself or the driver has full control, and the system is more authoritarian than cooperative. Grading wise, the car is badly let down by its performance in Driver Engagement and ends up ranked 2 ‘Moderate’. On the upside, Tesla offers over-the-air updates and can rapidly introduce performance improvements, as they have shown to be doing in recent years."
- Mercedes GLE - 174 (85% AC and 89% SB)
- BMW 3 Series - 172 (82% AC and 90% SB)
- Audi Q8 - 162 (78% AC and 84% SB)
- Ford Kuga - 152 (66% AC and 86% SB)
- Volkswagen Passat - 137 (76% AC and 61% SB)
- Tesla Model 3 - 131 (36% AC and 95% SB)
- Nissan Juke - 124 (52% AC and 72% SB)
- Volvo V60 - 120 (71% AC and 49% SB)
- Renault Clio - 105 (62% AC and 43% SB)
- Peugeot 2008 - 101 (61% AC and 40% SB)
* AC - Assistance Competence, SB - Safety Backup