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The Alfa Romeo Tonale's 'Active Driving Assist' system in testing
The Alfa Romeo Tonale's 'Active Driving Assist' system in testing

Press release -

COMMENT: Assisted Driving Gradings for three new vehicles released

The latest set of Assisted Driving gradings have been released by Euro NCAP, based on assessments of three new vehicles, the Alfa Romeo Tonale (‘moderate’), Nissan Ariya (‘very good’) and Renault Austral (‘very good’).

Thatcham Research, the automotive risk intelligence company and Euro NCAP partner, played a prominent role in the design of the assessments, which focus on ensuring drivers are aware of their responsibilities when using an Assisted Driving system, along with encouraging the development of balanced systems that provide meaningful support while avoiding motorists becoming disengaged from the driving task.

Dominic Tough, Thatcham Research research engineer, comments on the new results:

“Assisted Driving technology is an increasingly common feature on new vehicles. It combines Adaptive Cruise Control and Electronic Lane Keeping functions to support the driver and make motoring easier. Crucially, it does not replace the driver who retains responsibility for safety and must stay engaged.

“This is in part why the Alfa Romeo Tonale has been awarded a ‘moderate’ rating by Euro NCAP. Although the nomenclature used to describe the system itself (Active Driving Assist) accurately portrays functionality, the brand’s associated marketing materials make several references to ‘autonomous’ driving and by doing so, overstate system capability.

“References to autonomy must be treated with caution, to allay confusion regarding the driver’s legal responsibilities for safe transit.”

The Nissan Ariya and Renault Austral were both awarded ‘very good’ ratings in the assessments.

Tough continues, “The Nissan Ariya and Renault Austral’s ‘very good’ Assisted Driving ratings are a product of excellent safety back-up functions, combined with well-balanced levels of driver engagement and driving assistance.

“Both brands communicate the limitations of system capability effectively, leaving no doubt that this is Assisted Driving technology that supports – but does not replace – an attentive and engaged driver.”

Learn more about the Assisted Driving Gradings here.


Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.


Tom Flisher

Tom Flisher

Press contact PR Manager 07876 755 615
Stewart Mitchell

Stewart Mitchell

Press contact PR Executive PR and communication
Max Norstrom

Max Norstrom

Press contact PR Executive

Thatcham Research: Automotive Risk Intelligence

Thatcham Research is the automotive risk intelligence company dedicated to understanding the opportunities and risks of new vehicle technology and supporting our partners in identifying the best strategies for its safe, secure, and sustainable adoption.

The independent voice of automotive safety, security, and repair, we work in close partnership with insurers, vehicle manufacturers, technology providers and government, providing rigorous engineering-grade research and data to help minimise uncertainty presented by changes in technology and regulation.

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