Euro NCAP has published the results of tests on seven cars equipped with Highway Assist.

The overall best performer was the BMW iX3, graded as “very good”. The Ford Mustang Mach-E and the CUPRA Formentor achieved “good” gradings, the Polestar 2 and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 were graded as “moderate”, while the Toyota Yaris and Opel Mokka-e received “entry” level systems.

Highway Assist systems help the driver to maintain a steady speed, to keep a safe distance from the car in front and to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane by combining adaptive cruise control with lane centering.

Highway Assist systems are designed to assist the driver, not to take control, with the driver expected to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times. Euro NCAP tests the car’s ability to assist and promote safer driving, but also to assess how the system engages the driver and, if the unexpected happens, what safety backup is offered by the vehicle.

“This balance between assistance and engagement is crucial,” said Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP.

“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.”