Latest in Gear

Image credit: Engadget

Tesla Model 3 earned a mediocre score in Europe's new assisted driving test

The technology is "exemplary," but Tesla oversells the self-driving features.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
October 1, 2020
108 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Tesla Model 3 NCAP mediocre score
Engadget

Europe’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) has released its second series of assisted driving grades, and despite having the best technology, Tesla’s Model 3 came away with a mediocre score. The reason? Driver engagement is a key factor and Tesla’s Autopilot system “encourages the driver to relinquish too much control,” according to the testers (via RoadShow).

The results from the test don’t show that Tesla’s systems are bad, in fact far from it. Tesla had the top score in vehicle assistance, meaning its automatic braking, lane-keeping and other systems all work well together. It also beat all rivals in the “safety backup” section, as it can handle things like a system failure, unresponsive driver and collision avoidance with aplomb — as we’ve seen before in viral Tesla videos.

According to NCAP, however, the problems lie within a category called “driver engagement.” Testers said that the marketing materials don’t line up with the vehicle manual and could lead drivers to believe that the Model 3 does more than just driver assistance.

Tesla Model 3 NCAP rating

“Many aspects of the Model 3 are exemplary; its vehicle assistance is the best we saw in testing and it also aced the safety back up element,” wrote Thatcham Research, an independent group that carried out the trials. “However, it achieves a 'moderate' rating for poor driver engagement, with a design philosophy that is very much about the vehicle doing the driving. That would be appropriate for an automated vehicle — but this [testing is for] vehicle assistance.”

Mercedes’ GLE, the BMW 3 Series and Audi’s Q8 came out on top of the ratings. While they couldn’t match the Model 3’s level of technology, they achieved “a good balance between offering a high level of driving assistance but keeping the driver engaged and in control of the driving task,” according to the group.

The Model 3 placed sixth out of ten, above the Nissan Juke but below Volkswagen’s Passat. In this case, the NCAP is reinforcing what other safety bodies have said before: Tesla’s self-driving systems and even the name “Autopilot” could give consumers the wrong impression about its capabilities. That could be why we we’re still seeing idiots hurtling down the road at 65 mph with no one in the driver’s seat.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
108 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

AOC's 'Among Us' Twitch stream peaked at over 435,000 viewers

AOC's 'Among Us' Twitch stream peaked at over 435,000 viewers

View
LG's rollable OLED TV goes on sale for $87,000

LG's rollable OLED TV goes on sale for $87,000

View
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro review: Apple enters the 5G era

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro review: Apple enters the 5G era

View
GMC's 1000HP Hummer EV is an 'all-electric supertruck'

GMC's 1000HP Hummer EV is an 'all-electric supertruck'

View
Cyberpunk 2077's dialogue was lip-synced by AI

Cyberpunk 2077's dialogue was lip-synced by AI

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr