Consumer Reports has released its latest rankings comparing the lively driving assistance systems (ADAS) of EV automakers like Ford, GM, Rivian, and in fact Tesla. The independent, non-profit consumer organization tested 12 different ADA systems broken down into five distinct categories wherein it determined that Ford’s BlueCruise technology is the present industry leader, usurping General Motors’ Super Cruise. Tesla’s Autopilot, alternatively, has tumbled off the rostrum into mediocrity.
The CR rankings released this morning are comprised of months of car testing from Ford, Hyundai Motor Group, Tesla, and even our friends over at Toyota. As you’ll see below, not all ADAS are created equal.
At it’s core, the technology is a bolstered type of adaptive cruise control (ACC), that mixes computer control of a vehicle’s brakes and acceleration with lane centering assistance (LCA) that also helps keep the vehicle a preset distance away from others in your lane.
Regardless of what flavor Kool-Aid you select to drink, full self-driving technology still feels perpetually two years away (ask Elon Musk). Within the meantime, nevertheless, some automakers on the list below have developed some truly impressive technology because the bridge between fully-attentive driving and never doing anything in any respect.
This type of collaborative driving style is probably not yet like an episode of The Jetsons, however it continues to be a marvel to experience in person and is becoming an increasing number of common in passenger vehicles. In keeping with CR’s data, ADA systems are already available on greater than 50% of 2023 model-year vehicles – whether it’s an add-on or a typical feature.
Let’s start with the rankings and go from there to clarify how Ford nabbed the highest spot and Tesla fell to middle of the pack. Take a look.
Ford and GM top ADAS rankings, Tesla stumbles
Consumer Reports explained that to find out this list, it put each of the 12 ADAS through laps around its own track in Connecticut, plus a 50-mile loop on public roads throughout late 2022. Per the report:
Each system was rated for its performance in 40 separate tests, similar to steering the automotive, controlling the speed, and keeping the motive force protected and engaged with the act of driving. Additional features similar to automatic lane changes or reacting for traffic lights weren’t evaluated on this test.
CR testers evaluated the best way each of the 12 systems performed inside five specific categories: capability and performance, keeping the motive force engaged, ease of use, clear when protected to make use of, and unresponsive driver.
In the most recent rankings, Ford’s BlueCruise ADAS claimed the highest spot over the previous leader in GM’s Super Cruise while Tesla, whose Autopilot sat in second place in 2020, dropped all of the approach to seventh. Consumer Reports explained that Ford and GM are leading the present pack because their systems also utilize direct driver monitoring systems (DDMS). These additional systems require drivers to maintain their eyes on the road while the ADAS is activated, using infrared cameras on the motive force’s face to alert them in the event that they stop listening to the road.
Most other systems on this list haven’t yet integrated DDMS and easily require occasional hand pressure on the steering wheel to a minimum of give the impression that the motive force is being attentive. We’ve seen Tesla drivers share creative but utterly dangerous loopholes in Autopilot’s steering wheel requirement, rigging their EV to be “hands free.” The American automaker has since integrated the detection of cheating devices, but its driver monitoring leaves much to be desired. At the very least in accordance with Consumer Reports, who has criticized the technology for years.
The CR team identified that systems in each Tesla and Mercedes-Benz vehicles allowed highway driving for about 30 seconds before any audible warning was given to retake the wheel. The testing team stated that period of time time equates to over half a mile of driving without hands on the wheel and without successfully ensuring the motive force is even taking a look at the road.
The rankings display that Ford’s BlueCruise technology is newer and more technologically advanced than everyone else, including Tesla – whose Autopilot technology has seen added features, but has kept the identical basic functionality since day one. CR’s senior director of auto testing Jake Fisher elaborated:
In any case this time, Autopilot still doesn’t allow collaborative steering and doesn’t have an efficient driver monitoring system. While other automakers have evolved their ACC and LCA systems, Tesla has simply fallen behind.
We were surprised to see Volvo ranked eleventh out of 12, considering passenger safety is a large selling point in its overall brand. The automaker has promised to deliver certainly one of the safest EVs on the planet when its upcoming EX90 hits the market, so perhaps its ADAS will see some improvements as well. We already know it can have advanced driver monitoring and can give you the option to securely stop the vehicle must you turn out to be unconscious.
Ford, Tesla, and GM drivers, what do you concentrate on these rankings?