Semi-autonomous driving has to date been available in many cars, predominately in the form of adaptive cruise control. Since its inception, this advanced form of a traditional cruise control system has steadily improved. And now Euro NCAP and Global NCAP have begun to work on testing these systems in order to inform consumers on what is, and what is not, possible once an adaptive cruise control system is engaged.
Through an investigation conducted by Euro NCAP, Global NCAP and Thatcham research, it was revealed that 70 percent of current drivers believed it possible to already own a fully autonomous. They are, of course, wrong.
In a bid to better inform road users, the two NCAP organisations have focused their attention on autonomous technology testing using ten modern vehicles: the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, DS7 Crossback, Ford Focus, Hyundai Nexo, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, Toyota Corolla and Volvo V60. Here adaptive cruise control, lane keeping technologies and speed assist systems received close scrutiny.
The results showed the adaptive cruise control system in the DS and BMW offered low levels of assistance (asking the most of the driver), where others offered a better balance between car and driver assistance. The Tesla’s system was less inclined to trust its driver.
All system tested fared relatively poorly in terms of collision avoidance, particularly when it came to relying heavily on interventions from the driver.
It stands to reason that for the foreseeable future a driver will still be required to pay full attention to his/her surroundings while behind the wheel, using any and all modern driving aids as supplementary tools towards arriving safely at their destination.