The BMW iX3 has been given top marks for its Highway Assist system, which helps keep the driver centred in their lane.
The rating has come from Euro NCAP, which also conducts extensive crash testing on vehicles sold in Europe.
Its assisted driving ranking looked at cars’ Highway Assist technology, which combines intelligent adaptive cruise control and lane centring systems. The idea of the technology is to assist the driver, who must keep their hands on the wheel at all times.
Therefore the testing not only looks at how the technology keeps the car centred, it also measures how the system engages the driver and what safety backup is offered if the unexpected does happen.
The iX3 got the full four-star ‘very good’ rating, with Euro NCAP commenting on the fact that the car was alert to unexpected lane changes from cars ahead, as well as giving information about the system in the head-up display.
It was also noted that the car’s manual gave good information on the technology’s limitations.
Other vehicles to be tested included the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Cupra Formentor, which were given three-star ‘good’ ratings. The Polestar 2 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 were given two-star ‘moderate’ rankings, and the Toyota Yaris and Vauxhall Mokka-e had one-star ‘entry’ scores.
Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: “This balance between assistance and engagement is crucial. Cars are not yet capable of fully automated driving and drivers should not be misled into thinking that they are.
“Reports from America have highlighted the very serious problems that can happen when people have an unrealistically high expectation of what such systems can offer, and when the car in which they are driving does not actively try to get them back in the loop.
“We are pleased that the manufacturers represented in this round of tests make clear the level of support that they can provide.”