Since the world of autonomous vehicles is quickly approaching, we thought it would be helpful to examine the 5 levels of autonomous driving systems and outline their differences.
The world of autonomous vehicles is quickly approaching, with experts predicting fully autonomous vehicles will be on our roads by 2020.
Especially since Tesla announced that every Tesla will have the hardware to be autonomous, promising their first fully autonomous vehicle to be available by 2018. If you are unaware of what exactly an autonomous vehicle is, then make sure you check out How to Prepare for the Autonomous Vehicle Future.
Are Autonomous Vehicles the Future?
On our pursuit to fully grasping autonomous vehicles, we felt an outline of automated levels would significantly improve our understanding.
LEVEL 0 | No Automation
No automation, as a human being controls all functions of driving. The vehicle may include Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as rear camera, navigation, collision warnings, and traffic sign recognition.
LEVEL 1 | Driver-Assistance
Most driving functions are controlled by the driver; however, there are some ADAS options such as Automated Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) or automatic accelerating or steering available in the vehicle.
LEVEL 2 | Partial Automation
Level two is when more than one ADAS function is happening simultaneously without the driver interfering, such as automated parking, and auto-pilot mode. The driver must always be ready to control the vehicle.
LEVEL 3 | Conditional Environment Automation
With level three, while using the ADAS features the driver doesn’t have to be attentive. The ADAS features with level three are only available in certain traffic environments and weather conditions (i.e. highways, clear weather).
LEVEL 4 | High Automation
According to TechRepublic, level 4 vehicles are "designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip." However, it does not function within every driving scenario and the system may ask the driver take over the controls.
LEVEL 5 | Full Automation
Level five are fully autonomous vehicles that do not require a human begin to drive or monitor.