Results from the inaugural testing round of driver-assist systems in highway applications were released this month. The Mercedes-Benz GLE earned a “very good” rating and scored 174 points, the highest of the 10 vehicles tested. Systems on the BMW 3-Series and the Audi Q8 also earned “very good” marks.
Beyond the particulars of the initial results, what’s most interesting may be how Thatcham and Euro NCAP devised the testing regimen.
Researchers measured performance across three categories, analyzing how well subsystems worked together to control speed and steering, how effective vehicles were in monitoring human drivers to ensure they remain engaged and how backup systems respond in emergencies or during malfunctions.
Establishing a healthy friction and collaboration between human and machine, rather than an implicit trust, is an underlying tenet of the ratings. Young describes this as a careful balancing act. If there’s not enough automation, drivers won’t appreciate the systems…
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