Welcome to Consumer Reports Advocacy

For 85 years CR has worked for laws and policies that put consumers first. Learn more about CR’s work with policymakers, companies, and consumers to help build a fair and just marketplace at TrustCR.org

Consumer Reports’ new research report seeks to help clear confusion about today’s driver-assist systems


  • Report offers vehicle list that specifies the availability of active driver-assist systems by manufacturers, makes, and models for the current year
  • CR produced the report to help inform automakers and regulators following NHTSA order for companies to report crashes involving vehicles that come equipped with a certain level of advanced driver assistance


YONKERS, N.Y. — To help clear some of the confusion surrounding today’s driver-assist systems, Consumer Reports has a new research report for the automobile industry and government safety officials.  


The new report — Understanding the Current State of Vehicle Automation — provides data and guidance about active driver-assistance systems, which combine automated speed and steering controls for the driver.  The report includes a vehicle list that specifies the availability of systems by manufacturers, makes, and models for the current year. 


The report identifies and differentiates features that can be found on vehicles across the market, and it emphasizes the need for adequate Direct Driver Monitoring Systems (DDMS) as safeguards for consumers. 


The report was created to help inform automakers and the federal government about current vehicle models, following the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s June 2021 order that companies must report crashes involving vehicles that come equipped with a certain level of advanced driver assistance.


The key takeaways of the industry report are:


  • 92% of today’s vehicle models offer Adaptive Cruise Control, and 50% of models offer sustained Lane Keeping Assistance, with numbers quickly rising.
  • 50% of vehicle models on sale today offer what the engineering standards association SAE International defines as “Level 2 automation.”  This is important because the new NHTSA order specifically says manufacturers and operators of vehicles equipped with SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems must now report crashes, but not all of these systems are clearly labeled by automakers as Level 2.
  • Of the 227 vehicle models that CR has assigned an Overall Score, only two models were found to have adequate Direct Driver Monitoring Systems to mitigate risks.


Kelly Funkhouser, program manager of vehicle interface testing and head of connected and automated vehicle testing for CR, said, “There’s a lack of simple, straightforward information about the capabilities of today’s driver-assist systems.  For the first time, CR has created a comprehensive list of all new vehicles so industry officials and safety regulators can see the wide availability of these advanced driving systems.  There’s a lot of conversation about only a few automakers that offer these systems, which might lead someone to believe that this technology is not widely available yet.  But the data show that half of new vehicles for sale today have what SAE defines as Level 2 automation.”


David Friedman, vice president of advocacy for CR and a former NHTSA acting administrator, said, “We’re excited about these driver assistance innovations, and we hope this list will be a valuable resource for regulators and consumers alike. To ensure drivers don’t get lulled into a false sense of security and stop paying attention to the road, all of these Level 2 vehicles should come standard with Direct Driver Monitoring Systems. Automakers also need to clearly communicate the capabilities of their features so NHTSA and other organizations can monitor their performance in the real world. This is especially important now that NHTSA is requiring industry to report crashes of vehicles with a certain level of driver-assist systems.”


Industry and government officials can obtain the free technical report here. For consumers, CR has a free story that highlights the findings here.


In addition to this report, CR has been working with numerous safety organizations to establish a common nomenclature for the primary features of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), as well as advocate for shared names for the latest features. CR is currently working on this effort with AAA, J.D. Power, National Safety Council, Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), and SAE.  Learn more about this coalition effort here.


Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org


Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 85 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.