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"Mercedes appears to be a brand that is getting Assisted Driving right"
"Mercedes appears to be a brand that is getting Assisted Driving right"

Press release -

Well-balanced Mercedes-EQ EQE top rated for Assisted Driving

  • Mercedes-EQ EQE ‘Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC’ system achieves right balance of Vehicle Assistance and Driver Engagement
  • EQE also scores strong results in separate Euro NCAP safety testing
  • All other vehicles tested achieve four of five-star Euro NCAP ratings
  • The BYD Atto 3, a new Chinese entrant, gains five-star rating

The latest Euro NCAP safety results have been released today, including seven vehicles that went through rigorous impact protection and crash avoidance testing and a separate Assisted Driving Grading for the Mercedes-EQ EQE.

The Mercedes-EQ EQE’s Assisted Driving or ‘L2’ system has been rated ‘very good’, achieving the best overall score in testing to date.

The Assisted Driving Gradings champion balanced systems and combine assessments around technical performance, how carmaker marketing and the operation of the system itself keep the driver engaged, and the quality of the car’s safety back-up mechanisms in the event of an emergency.

The EQE’s resulting overall Assistance Competence[1]score of 85% is the highest achieved by any carmaker taking part in the Assisted Driving Gradings to date. The EQE is also the first to achieve a perfect Safety Back-Up result of 100%.

Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer, Thatcham Research comments: “Mercedes is a brand that appears to be getting Assisted Driving right. Driver expectations are managed successfully thanks to appropriate naming conventions and marketing that clearly positions system function as ‘assisted’.

“The driver is encouraged to understand that it’s a team effort involving cooperative driving between motorist and machine, as opposed to becoming convinced that they can check-out completely.”

It also boasts a new safety protocol function when in Assisted Driving mode, where in the event of an unresponsive driver, the EQE automatically moves to the slowest lane and performs a controlled stop.

Avery comments: “Previously, vehicles operating in Assisted Driving mode would simply stop in lane should the driver fail to respond. Mercedes-EQ is the first however to design a system that moves to a slower lane in this scenario, an action that must be taken for the safety of all motorway drivers.”

As its Safety Back-Up score suggests, the EQE also rated highly in Euro NCAP’s separate ‘passive’ impact performance and ‘active’ crash-avoidance testing. Here, the EQE was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP rating for safety, with one of the year’s highest Adult Occupant Protection scores (95%) and further impressive totals across the board.

Other vehicles to undertake Euro NCAP’s exacting safety testing include the Atto 3, from Chinese manufacturer BYD. Just as the WEY Coffee and Ora Funky Cat did in October’s results, the Atto 3 received a five-star rating.

Avery adds: “Chinese manufacturers are achieving great safety results. It is fantastic to see these carmakers not only performing to the five-star standard, but also posting scores that equal – or even better – those achieved by more established European brands.”

BYD’s partnership with Alexander Dennis makes it the UK’s leading electric bus producer. Their electric vehicle partnership recently delivered its 1,000thzero-emission bus.

“It’s a logical progression for BYD to move into the personal vehicle segment, as it already understands the nuances of the UK market,” Avery continues. “It is well positioned for success, as BYD controls its whole supply chain, giving it far greater protection from the parts delay issues currently effecting the wider market.”

Other vehicles given five-star Euro NCAP ratings in this round of testing include the: BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, BMW X1, SEAT Ibiza and VW Golf.

The Citroën C5 X and Mobilize Limo were given four-star ratings.


[1] The Assisted Driving Gradings champion balanced systems and combine a series of assessments across three key areas: the technical competence of the system and the assistance it can safely offer (Vehicle Assistance), how carmaker marketing and the operation of the system itself prevent over-reliance (Driver Engagement), and the quality of the car’s safety back-up mechanisms in the event of an emergency (Safety Back-Up).

The lesser ‘Assistance Competence’ score from Vehicle Assistance and Driver Engagement testing is added to the Safety Back-up result, to grade the balance of the system.



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

Thatcham Research

Safer cars, fewer crashes...

As the UK's only insurer funded automotive research centre, Thatcham Research enjoy a wide remit at the forefront of the latest vehicle technology. Thatcham's leading work in vehicle safety and security has a vital role in shaping the designs of new vehicles, whilst the centre is also seen as a key industry player at the forefront of driving standards in vehicle body repair.

Thatcham's Crash Laboratory is the only official UK crash testing centre for consumer safety body Euro NCAP and are viewed as a centre of excellence when it comes to active vehicle safety, particularly the evaluation of new Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) which provide the foundation for future vehicle autonomy.

Enjoying an increasingly global influence in both the insurance and automotive sectors, Thatcham Research expertise is in great demand with a range of opinion leaders being regularly asked to provide their experience and know-how at high profile events and in the media, living up to their reputation as ‘Experts in Safety, Security and Crash Repair’.

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