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

by: Chris Rosamond

25 Nov 2021

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

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

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

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 programs.

Matthew Avery, Thatcham Analysis’s Chief Strategic Analysis Officer, mentioned: “Assisted-driving expertise should strike the best steadiness between providing a significant degree of help and guaranteeing that motorists don’t sit again and let the system do the driving. We’ve seen the harmful outcomes on roads world wide when drivers change into satisfied that their function is secondary.”

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

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

“All seven vehicles we’ve simply examined are clearly marketed as having ‘driver help’ features, not ‘automated’,” mentioned Avery. “These programs are engineered to contain and help the motive force in a really cooperative method. They’re actually not attempting to supply automation, the place the driving job will be relinquished to the car, and we strongly imagine that’s the best factor to do.

Tester’s feedback

Thatcham’s chief analysis officer Matthew Avery has supplied feedback on every of the vehicles on this yr’s take a look at:

BMW iX3

“Our top-performing car is the BMW iX3 which is a premium, battery-electric SUV. It is the one car to get our ‘excellent’ grading. It responded nicely in our collision-avoidance eventualities 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 usually well-balanced Assisted-Driving performance. Nevertheless, we do suppose the title of ‘Co-Pilot 360’ is somewhat ambiguous and would not adequately describe the actual 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 car with a plug-in choice and receives a ‘good’ grading. The ‘Journey Help’ title precisely portrays the function of the system, which has well-balanced Driver Engagement, Automobile Help and Security Backup options. An excellent choice available in the market.”

Polestar 2

“The Polestar 2 is one other full battery-electric car and it will get a ‘average’ grading. It has an extremely good rating of 85% for its Security Backup, one thing you’d anticipate from a Volvo-derived car. Nevertheless it’s let down by its Automobile Help rating, which is simply 50%, as a result of the system can’t adapt its pace for curves and junctions. This car 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 ‘average’ rating. It has good Automobile Help and good Driver Engagement. Nevertheless 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’ ranking, but it surely’s spectacular to see Assisted Driving performance on a low-cost supermini comparable to this. Nevertheless, it is let down by its comparatively poor performing Automobile Help and Security Backup features.”

Vauxhall Mokka-e

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

2021 Assisted Driving Grading outcomes

Automobile

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