Not all level 2 driver assists are equal, IIHS finds after testing
Not all adaptive cruise control and lane keeping systems are created equal. That should be obvious, but in case it isn’t, recent tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will serve as proof. On Tuesday, IIHS published the results of some road and track testing with several different makes of vehicle, measuring how well each was able to stay within its lane around corners and up hills.
“We zeroed in on situations our staff have identified as areas of concern during test drives with Level 2 systems, then used that feedback to develop road and track scenarios to compare vehicles,” said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Jessica Jermakian. By “level 2,” Jermakian means vehicles that are capable of steering, braking, and accelerating for themselves but only with an engaged human driver behind the wheel who is responsible for providing situational awareness.
The vehicles (and advanced driver assistance systems) that IIHS tested were a 2017 BMW 5 Series (Driving Assistant Plus), 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class (Drive Pilot), 2018 Tesla Model 3 (Autopilot 8.1), 2016 Tesla Model S (Autopilot 7.1), and 2018 Volvo S90 (Pilot Assist). IIHS notes that each had previously been scored highly for their automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. A series of track tests was used to establish how each system coped with avoiding collisions with a stationary vehicle, then repeated road testing was conducted to get a sense of real-world behavior in traffic and how well each car maintained position within its lane.