Euro NCAP has tested highway assistance systems on four recent cars. The Jaguar I-Pace system was rated as entry-level, the updated Polestar 2 system as good, and the VW ID.5 and Nissan Qashqai performed best with systems rated as very good.
Euro NCAP assesses driver assistance systems outside the regular general rating system. The tests are a series of critical highway driving scenarios, such as typical on and off switching scenarios, designed to demonstrate how effectively the system can assist the driver in avoiding a potential crash. It also evaluates how driver and system work together and how the system keeps the driver engaged in the driving task, avoiding “overconfidence”.
Finally, it is tested to what extent the vehicle can limit the consequences of an accident, the so-called safety backup, in case an accident is unavoidable.
Already an outstanding performer in Euro NCAP’s overall safety rating, the new Qashqai stood out in this round of assisted driving tests. With almost perfectly matched scores for driver involvement and vehicle assistance, the car’s so-called ProPILOT with Navi Link system showed an excellent balance between helping the driver and preventing excessive confidence. But it was in the area of Safety Backup that the car really excelled, with a near-perfect 93%, according to Euro NCAP.
VW’s ID.5 also performed well with a high level of driver assistance, supporting many highway driving tasks, but never promoting confidence that could lead to driver distraction.
Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen said: “We have been publishing assisted ratings for a few years now and we are seeing real improvements in system performance. Most manufacturers realize that it is important for drivers to enjoy the benefits of assisted driving without believing that they can fully transfer control to the car, and that is one of the aspects that our review considers.
“Congratulations Nissan – the Qashqai is the most affordable car in this group, but the ID.5 shares the highest rating we’ve seen to date. It shows that technology is moving fast and that driving will soon become part of the mainstream.”
The Polestar 2, which was already reviewed last year, was updated to provide better support when cornering in the assisted driving mode. The update to version P1.8, which was done over the air late last year, improved the rating of the system from mediocre to good.
The Jaguar I-Pace was the oldest car in this group and the system was rated as an entry-level model, demonstrating how quickly this technology is improving on the market. Emphasis is placed on driver involvement – ensuring that the driver does not disengage from the driving task and is ready to take control when needed, with more limited levels of vehicle assistance and safety backup.