Euro NCAP Assisted Driving Tests

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With vehicle manufacturers making ever-greater use of the sensor sets fitted to their cars to provide driving support, Euro NCAP has devised a series of new assessment protocols for these systems. The organization notes that these systems are not flawless and should not lead or have full control.

Euro NCAP says that it has developed new assessment protocols focus on 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); and Safety Backup, the car’s safety net in critical situations.

A unique grading system – similar to the 5-star safety rating – is intended to help consumers understand the conclusions of the tests and compare assistance performance at the highest level. Each car tested falls into one of four categories: Entry, Moderate, Good or Very Good.

Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP secretary general, explained, “Assisted driving technologies offer enormous benefits by reducing fatigue and encouraging safe driving. However, manufacturers must ensure that assisted driving technology does not increase the amount of harm incurred by drivers or other road users compared with conventional driving. The best systems offer a balance between the amount of assistance they provide and the level of driver engagement – and should be supported by an effective safety backup.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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