Thatcham launches assisted driving grading system

Working with Euro NCAP, Thatcham has released a new system to offer motorists insight into the safest assisted driving technology.

Assisted Driving systems are available on many new cars and are designed to support but not replace the driver, making motoring safer and easier. The driver retains responsibility for safety and must stay engaged.

The grading works by balancing performance across three key areas: the technical competence of the system and the assistance it can safely offer; the feedback the system gives to the driver to prevent over-reliance; and the quality of the car’s safety back-up mechanisms in the event of an emergency. 

Cars are awarded an overall grading, based on their test results across the three performance criteria – each scored out of 100. But the maximum number of points that can be scored is 200 because the lesser score of vehicle assistance and driver engagement is added to ‘safety backup’ to grade the balance of the system.  

Cars that score 160 points and above are graded ‘very good’, while a score of 140 or above earns a ‘good’ result. Cars that earn 120 points or more secure a ‘moderate’ result and, at the bottom end of the scale, an ‘entry’ grading is awarded for a score of 100 points or more.  

The top five cars with such systems were the Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW 3-series, Audi Q8, Ford Kuga and VW Passat.

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