Testers give help packages a ‘thumbs up’ regardless of issues they may mislead drivers into dropping focus

by: Chris Rosamond

25 Nov 2021

 The BMW iX3 has earned the one ‘superb’ rating out of seven vehicles assessed by Thatcham Analysis for assisted-driving options similar to velocity help, steering help and adaptive cruise management techniques.

The BMW joins the Audi A8, BMW 3 Sequence and Mercedes GLE, which acquired related ‘superb’ scores in 2020, whereas the Cupra Formentor and Ford Mustang Mach E help techniques have been judged as ‘good’ in 2021. Within the newest assessments, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Polestar 2 earned solely ‘reasonable’ scores, whereas the Toyota Yaris and Vauxhall Mokka-E help applied sciences are assessed as ‘entry’ stage.

Thatcham Analysis says the outcomes are encouraging, with all seven vehicles examined this yr exhibiting pleasing ranges of assisted driving system assist.

Of the vehicles examined in 2021, 5 are pure electrical fashions. The Thatcham assessments consider and charge the extent of driving help, driver engagement, and security back-up of their onboard techniques.

Matthew Avery, Thatcham Analysis’s Chief Strategic Analysis Officer, mentioned: “Assisted-driving know-how should strike the fitting stability between providing a significant stage of assist and guaranteeing that motorists don’t sit again and let the system do the driving. We’ve seen the harmful outcomes on roads around the globe when drivers turn out to be satisfied that their position is secondary.”

When Thatcham first began driver-assistance techniques, it raised issues that automotive makers may very well be overselling the know-how in a means that may very well be complicated and harmful to customers, and it downgraded the Tesla Mannequin 3 to ‘reasonable’ because of this.

The organisation says it’s reassured that’s not the case with any of the vehicles examined this yr, with all the techniques being described accurately.

“All seven vehicles we’ve simply examined are clearly marketed as having ‘driver help’ features, not ‘automated’,” mentioned Avery. “These techniques are engineered to contain and assist the motive force in a really cooperative method. They’re definitely not attempting to supply automation, the place the driving process might be relinquished to the automobile, and we strongly consider that’s the fitting factor to do.

Tester’s feedback

Thatcham’s chief analysis officer Matthew Avery has offered feedback on every of the vehicles on this yr’s check:

BMW iX3

“Our top-performing automobile is the BMW iX3 which is a premium, battery-electric SUV. It is the one automobile to get our ‘superb’ grading. It responded properly in our collision-avoidance situations and at 85%, it has one of many highest scores for Driver Engagement, partially as a result of the iX3 options good in-vehicle video to indicate the motive force the way to use the system.”

Ford Mustang Mach-E

“Ford’s battery electrical Mustang Mach-E achieved a ‘good’ grading. It is received an excellent Security Backup system which scored 83%, and it has typically well-balanced Assisted-Driving performance. Nevertheless, we do suppose the title of ‘Co-Pilot 360’ is a little bit ambiguous and would not adequately describe the very fact it is an Assisted Driving system that at all times requires the motive force to be in management.”

Cupra Formentor

“The Cupra Formentor is a petrol-powered automobile with a plug-in possibility and receives a ‘good’ grading. The ‘Journey Help’ title precisely portrays the position of the system, which has well-balanced Driver Engagement, Car Help and Security Backup options. A very good possibility available in the market.”

Polestar 2

“The Polestar 2 is one other full battery-electric automobile and it will get a ‘reasonable’ grading. It has an extremely good rating of 85% for its Security Backup, one thing you’d anticipate from a Volvo-derived automobile. However it’s let down by its Car Help rating, which is simply 50%, as a result of the system can’t adapt its velocity for curves and junctions. This automobile is able to over-the-air updates, and Polestar has already confirmed that it’ll enhance that performance for all its drivers quickly.”

Hyundai Ioniq 5

“The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a brand-new, absolutely electrical automotive and it achieves a ‘reasonable’ rating. It has good Car Help and good Driver Engagement. However it’s let down by its Security Backup rating of fifty%. This implies the automotive is much less succesful at supporting the motive force in an emergency.”

Toyota Yaris

“Toyota’s Yaris will get an ‘entry’ score, but it surely’s spectacular to see Assisted Driving performance on a low-cost supermini similar to this. Nevertheless, it is let down by its comparatively poor performing Car Help and Security Backup features.”

Vauxhall Mokka-e

“The Mokka-e is the fifth battery-electric automobile on this yr’s assessments, but it surely’s additionally a low-cost one. It receives an ‘entry’ grading as a result of its Velocity Help system solely makes use of a digicam. This implies the knowledge the motive force is receiving from the system might not at all times be dependable.”

2021 Assisted Driving Grading outcomes

Automotive

Driver EngagementCar HelpSecurity Again-upScore
BMW iX385%83%86%Superb
Ford Mustang Mach-E69%71%83%Good
Cupra Formentor70%79%74%Good
Polestar 270%50%85%Reasonable
Hyundai Ioniq 580%77%50%Reasonable
Toyota Yaris79%56%53%Entry
Vauxhall/Opel Mokka-E67%57%44%Entry