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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

Euro NCAP has Tested Highway Assistance Systems Offered on four Recent Cars, including VW ID.5

EURO NCAP says as part of its ongoing evaluation of assisted driving technology, they have tested Highway Assistance systems offered on four recently developed cars. The additional test procedures in the area of vehicle assistance include a couple of critical motorway driving scenarios, such as typical cut-in and cut-out scenarios manoeuvres, testing the systems efficiency in supporting the driver to avoid accidents. The "Assistance Competence"-test, assesses driver engagement, meaning how driver and system work together and how the system ensures that the driver remains engaged in the driving task. The "Safety Backup"- test evaluates the vehicle’s performance in avoiding collisions and mitigating the potentially incurred consequences of an accident.

A summary of the results.

The Jaguar I-PACE system was graded as 'Entry' level, the updated Polestar 2 system as 'Good', and the VW ID.5 and Nissan Qashqai are the best performers with systems rated as 'Very Good.

Euro NCAP say they assess Assisted Driving systems outside the regular overall rating system. The 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 can 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 if 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 an excellent balance between helping the driver and preventing over-reliance. But it is in the area of Safety Backup, the car really excels, with an almost-perfect 93 percent.

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 promoting over-trust which might lead to driver distraction. In the ID.5, Volkswagen uses innovative, fully connected assistance systems, the optional “Travel Assist with swarm data” being the best example. Within the limits of the system, it can actively keep the vehicle in lane and maintain both the distance to the vehicle in front and the maximum speed set by the driver. The system uses the Adaptive Lane Guidance function which actively keeps the vehicle in the middle of the lane. However, "Travel Assist with swarm data" is able to adapt to the driving style and can also keep the vehicle on the right-or left-hand side of the lane.

Travel Assist with Swarm Data & assisted Lane Change.

On the motorway, the "Travel Assist with swarm data" can optionally provide active support when changing lanes at speeds of 90 km/h and faster. If activated, the lane change can be started and executed by tapping the indicator stalk. Provided that the sensors detect no vehicle in the car’s surroundings and that the capacitive steering wheel recognizes the driver’s hands the vehicle then automatically initiates the overtaking manoeuvre and changes lanes. The driver can intervene and take over the control of the car at any time.

The assistant also is equipped with predictive speed control and cornering assistance. The vehicle speed can be adjusted to the applicable speed limits and the course of the road (curves, roundabouts, etc.). Given that anonymised swarm data from other Volkswagen is available, the new "Travel Assist with swarm data" can also provide support on roads with only one lane marking, - for example on country roads without a centre lane marking. The "Travel Assist with swarm data" is now optionally available in Europe in all newly produced ID.models equipped with ID.Software 3.0.

Overall, numerous driver assistance functions were tested by Euro NCAP: These include standard features such as the emergency brake assistant "Front Assist" and the lane keep assist systems "Lane Assist". In addition, the optional comfort assistants such as Predictive ACC, Side Assist and Emergency Assist were assessed by the safety experts.

Euro NCAP emphasizes the clear and intuitive displays, referring in particular to the augmented reality head-up display"showing the system status in the driver’s direct line of sight ". In this way, customers can see at any time which systems are active or which system is currently supporting them.

The Polestar 2, already assessed last year, has been updated to provide better support in bends when in assisted driving mode. In addition, 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.

The Jaguar I-PACE is the oldest car in this group and its system is rated as Entry level, illustrating how fast this technology is improving on the market. The emphasis is 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.

"We have been publishing Assisted Driving gradings for a couple of years now and we are seeing real improvements in system performance. Most manufacturers realise 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."

Says Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary-General of Euro NCAP,

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