Thatcham Notes Mercedes Progress on Assisted Driving Tech

The latest Euro NCAP safety results have been released from Thatcham Research, including seven vehicles that went through rigorous impact protection and crash avoidance testing and a separate Assisted Driving Grading for the Mercedes-EQ EQE. The Mercedes-EQ EQE’s Assisted Driving or ‘L2’ system has been rated ‘very good’, achieving the best overall score in testing to date.

The Assisted Driving Gradings champion balanced systems and combine assessments around technical performance, how carmaker marketing and the operation of the system itself keep the driver engaged, and the quality of the car’s safety back-up mechanisms in the event of an emergency. For insurance brands, it is useful to have benchmark standards on assisted driver tech, as that may reduce the number of collisions within that group of drivers. To be fair research would have be carried out independently and over several years to make a meaningful comparison.


The EQE’s resulting overall Assistance Competence score of 85% is the highest achieved by any carmaker taking part in the Assisted Driving Gradings to date. The EQE is also the first to achieve a perfect Safety Back-Up result of 100%, says Thatcham.

Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer, Thatcham Research comments: “Mercedes is a brand that appears to be getting Assisted Driving right. Driver expectations are managed successfully thanks to appropriate naming conventions and marketing that clearly positions system function as ‘assisted.’ The driver is encouraged to understand that it’s a team effort involving cooperative driving between motorist and machine, as opposed to becoming convinced that they can check-out completely.”

It also boasts a new safety protocol function when in Assisted Driving mode, where in the event of an unresponsive driver, the EQE automatically moves to the slowest lane and performs a controlled stop. This is exactly the type of tech that might – or might – make so-called Smart motorways a bit safer. Although it depends where the vehicle stops and how heavy the traffic is at the time. In theory it could make things worse by creating an immovable hazard.

Avery comments: “Previously, vehicles operating in Assisted Driving mode would simply stop in lane should the driver fail to respond. Mercedes-EQ is the first however to design a system that moves to a slower lane in this scenario, an action that must be taken for the safety of all motorway drivers.”


Other vehicles to undertake Euro NCAP’s exacting safety testing include the Atto 3, from Chinese manufacturer BYD. Just as the WEY Coffee and Ora Funky Cat did in October’s results, the Atto 3 received a five-star rating.

Avery adds: “Chinese manufacturers are achieving great safety results. It is fantastic to see these carmakers not only performing to the five-star standard, but also posting scores that equal – or even better – those achieved by more established European brands.”

BYD’s partnership with Alexander Dennis makes it the UK’s leading electric bus producer. Their electric vehicle partnership recently delivered its 1,000thzero-emission bus.

“It’s a logical progression for BYD to move into the personal vehicle segment, as it already understands the nuances of the UK market,” Avery continues. “It is well positioned for success, as BYD controls its whole supply chain, giving it far greater protection from the parts delay issues currently effecting the wider market.”

Thatcham also notes that the Citroën C5 X and Mobilize Limo were given four-star ratings.

About alastair walker 12153 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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