ADAS Rating Reveals Speed of Technology Change, NCAP

Automotive crash-test organization, Euro NCAP, has announced its latest tests of current ADAS technologies revealing how fast the systems’ capabilities are changing.

Its test of four vehicles reveals that forecourt ticket price is not a guarantee of ADAS excellence. That’s because the premium Jaguar I-Pace only scored an “Entry Level” assessment against that used in the much cheaper Nissan Qashqai which enjoys a “Very Good” test score. At the same time, the updated Polestar 2 system lagged behind with a “Good” rating while its competitor, the Volkswagen ID.5, also scored a “Very Good” test assessment.

Euro NCAP ADAS tests comprise a series of critical highway driving scenarios, such as typical cut-in and cut-out scenarios, designed to show how effectively the system is able to support the driver in avoiding a possible crash. It also evaluates how driver and system cooperate and how the system ensures that the driver remains engaged in the driving task, avoiding over-trust. Finally, the vehicle’s ability to mitigate the consequences of a crash, referred to as safety backup, is tested, in case an accident is unavoidable.

The new Qashqai, already an outstanding performer in Euro NCAP’s overall safety rating, stands out in this round of assisted driving tests. With almost perfectly matched scores for Driver Engagement and Vehicle Assistance, the car’s ProPILOT with Navi Link system demonstrates excellent balance between helping the driver and preventing over-reliance. However, it is in the area of Safety Backup that the car really excels, with an almost-perfect 93%.

VW’s ID.5, which shares a common platform with the ID.3 and ID.4, also performs well. Again, it provides a high level of assistance to the driver, supporting many driving tasks on the highway but never promotes over-trust which might lead to driver distraction.

The Polestar 2, already assessed last year, has been updated to provide better support in bends when in assisted driving mode. The update to version P1.8, made over-the-air late last year to all vehicles in the market, improves the rating of its system from “Moderate” to “Good”.

In defense of the Jaguar I-Pace, NCAP pointed out that it is the oldest car in the group tested and its “Entry Level” rating illustrates how fast this technology is improving on the market. The emphasis is put on Driver Engagement – making sure that the driver does not switch off from the driving task and is ready to take over control when needed, with more limited levels of Vehicle Assistance and Safety Backup.

Secretary general of Euro NCAP, Michiel van Ratingen, saidL “We have been publishing Assisted Driving gradings for a couple of years now and we are seeing real improvements in system performance. Most manufacturers realize that it is important that drivers enjoy the benefits of assisted driving without believing that they can hand over control completely to the car, and that’s one of the aspects that our assessment considers. Congratulations to Nissan – the Qashqai is the most affordable car in this group but, with the ID.5, shares the highest rating we have seen so far. It shows that the technology is moving fast and that assisted driving will become part of the mainstream very soon.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *