A new grading system has been introduced that will be quite helpful for the drivers. The system has been launched for driver assistance tech by Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP. The grading system would work with the Euro NCAP’s crash test and feature-based rating system. It will be helpful in judging how effective the driver assistant tech is by providing scores. It will also be able to engage the driver while he’s driving.
Manufacturers won’t find it easy to sell the systems to the customers as their marketing ways would be monitored by the safety bodies. They don’t want the manufacturers to encourage customers to put extra faith in them.
Thatcham’s director of research Matthew Avery said that the purpose of the assist systems is to help the driver and not to replace them. Unfortunately, many customers want to buy a self-driving vehicle and they think they can do it today, but due to this misconception, vehicles are given with too much control and they are not able to handle all the situations.
He also said that it is very important that the customers clearly understand the capabilities of the assisted driving tech, if the insurers, manufacturers, and legislators want to move to the next step of the automated driving.
The new system uses a sliding points scale and there are multiple categories. The total points awarded are 200, the cars getting 100-120 points are placed in the entry category, cars with 120-140 points belong to the moderate category, cars with over 140 points are in a good category, where cars with over 160 points are in the very good category. If a car scores less than 100 points, it will be a part of the not recommended class.
There are 10 results in the first batch are announced so far and include Renault Clio that has been given an entry rating, the Tesla Model 3 that has been given a moderate score, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE, which got the highest points in the first batch.
Avery said that there should be a good balance between the amount of help the drivers get and how much is done to ensure drivers remain engaged and aware of their responsibilities. The systems should reduce fatigue and help the driver avoid trouble. Only then, a system will be considered the best.
At Thatcham’s test track, there was a demo session depicting a few of the test methods used to test the systems. First, BMW 3 Series was tested, and then the Tesla Model 3. The tests showed the difference in the systems of the vehicles with similar size and price.