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New Assisted Driving Grading introduced to help clarify safety technology

New Assisted Driving Grading introduced to help clarify safety technology

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A new system of Assisted Driving Grading has been introduced with the aim of making vehicle safety technology clearer and easier to understand.

A new system of Assisted Driving Grading has been introduced with the aim of making vehicle safety technology clearer and easier to understand.

Developed by Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP, the test is being implemented to help drivers understand the type of safety systems which are being incorporated into nearly all modern cars. It focuses on features such as autonomous emergency driving and adaptive cruise control. 

According to Thatcham Research, many manufacturers ‘overstate the capability’ of their systems which, in turn, means that many drivers fail to use them properly. It’s this incorrect use which can sometimes result in collisions and even deaths. 

However, the new test aims to bring more clarity to the technology. Vehicles will now be graded 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).

Once put through these series of tests, they’ll be awarded a grade ranging from ‘entry’ up to ‘very good’. 

The test has already been used on a variety of different cars, with vehicles such as the Mercedes GLE and BMW 3 Series coming out on top and the Renault Clio and Peugeot 2008 returning just ‘entry’ ratings. 

Commenting on the new grading system, Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’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.

“Clarity is therefore required to make sure drivers understand the capability and performance of current assisted systems. It’s crucial today’s technology is adopted safely before we take the next step on the road to automation. There are safety and insurance implications that must be considered seriously.”