The people from Euro NCAP celebrated 20 years since they started testing car safety features in Europe this week. The guys want to show that they are a company keeping up with the times and considering the autonomous car phenomenon that is developing these days, they wanted to put some of the latest driver assistance technologies to the test. Among the cars tested they included the BMW 5 Series, fitted with the Active Driving Assistant Plus system.
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That’s basically the one package to get if you want your BMW to drive itself on the highway. BMW promises it will keep you safe, with automated emergency braking in case of an unfortunate event happening on the road. However, the video posted below doesn’t show the car performing perfectly in a variety of situations. The only situations where it actually worked how it’s supposed to was when approaching a moving or stationary car. In other cases, only driver intervention avoided a crash and that’s worrying.
Of course, BMW doesn’t claim that this system can actually replace a human behind the wheel. As a matter of fact, these systems are only meant to help out and reduce the hazard more or less. The tests performed by the Euro NCAP found that none of the systems on the market today work as one would expect. The organization has tested the comparative performance of so-called Highway Assist systems in ten cars: the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, DS 7 Crossback, Ford Focus, Hyundai NEXO, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, Toyota Corolla and the Volvo V60.
Their findings show that “Cars on the market today can provide driver assistance but this should not be confused with automated driving. The driver remains fully responsible for safe driving.” That’s one of the reasons why certain automakers find marketing names such as ‘Autopilot’ completely inappropriate. As a matter of fact, Tesla’s system also failed in a number of simulations, as you can see in the clips posted here.
“Euro NCAP’s message from these tests is clear — cars, even those with advanced driver assistance systems — need a vigilant, attentive driver behind the wheel at all times. It is imperative that state-of-the-art passive and active safety systems remain available in the background as a vital safety backup,” said Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General. However, the worst results seem to have been recorded by the Audi A6 and its Adaptive Cruise Assist, as you can see in the video below.