Have you ever wondered what those different levels of autonomous driving actually mean? Better yet, did you even know there are different levels of autonomous driving?
With the emergence of autonomous driving and all the investment into it, here's a bit of info to educate yourself! Check out a snippet of this great article from TNW, link to the full article below.
Autonomous driving isn’t quite as clear cut as it sounds. Despite many vehicles claiming to have self-driving capabilities, they aren’t all the same.
As it happens, the industry (Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE) has settled on separating self-driving cars into five classes or levels — six if you include cars that have no automation at all.
It’s important to know these levels in order to correctly distinguish one supposedly autonomous vehicle from the next. According to the SAE, the levels were decided based on how much attention a driver should be paying to the road when the autonomous features are active.
Let’s waste no more time, here are the six levels of automation.
These vehicles have no automation features at all. These are most likely older or more basic cars. Chances are, a lot of the cars on the road today fall into this category.
Cars that fall into this category possess some low-level driver assistance features. Vehicles with features that stop them from leaving a highway lane unexpectedly (lane departure assist), or allow them to follow traffic at a safe distance (adaptive cruise control) fall into this category.
Level 1 features tend to be positioned as driver aids and safety features like BMW’s driver assistance systems.
At Level 2 autonomy a car can give the very strong impression that it’s driving itself. But even so, drivers of such cars should always pay full attention to the road.
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Autopilot system is generally considered a Level 2 piece of tech.
When FSD is engaged on a Tesla, the vehicle can change lanes, navigate, and speed up and slow down, without driver intervention. However, the driver must still hold the steering wheel, and monitor traffic for safety.