Six Levels of Autonomous Driving

Many people are intrigued by the prospect of cars that can drive themselves. However, a number of issues remain.


Driverless cars can eliminate tailgating and reckless driving, thus reducing the chance of road rage incidents. They can also help the blind, paralyzed and disabled get to work and visit family.

What is Autonomous Driving?

Autonomous driving has been in development for years, leveraging innovations in AI, machine learning, computer vision and more. It has accelerated with the development of advanced driver assistance features like blind spot monitor 방문운전연수 ing, vehicle-to-vehicle communication for adaptive cruise control and lane centering, among others.

Getting self-driving passenger vehicles to market will require an entirely new R&D strategy and the ability to develop software at a much faster rate. It will also involve a redesign of urban landscapes, policy and infrastructure to make them friendly for autonomous vehicles.

For example, cars operating at Level 4 will need to be designed with a high-definition map of their environment that will allow them to manage lateral and longitudinal direction as well as lanes. This HD map is built using a combination of radar sensors, video cameras that read road signs and traffic lights as well as track surrounding vehicles, LiDAR (which bounces pulses of light off the car’s surroundings to measure distance) and GPS.

Level 1

The level of automation most cars on the road today offer is at level 1. This includes systems like ad 방문운전연수 aptive cruise control which controls speed and distance compared to vehicles in front. And also lane centering and parking assist technologies. A driver is required to be attentive and monitor their surroundings at all times and to be ready to take control if needed.

The next level of autonomy is level 2. This allows the car to handle acceleration, braking and steering. Tesla’s Autopilot system is a great example of this. However, even at this level it’s important that the driver keep their hands on the wheel and is fully responsible for the vehicle.

The next level up from this is level 3. This is often referred to as the “eyes-off” level because drivers can safely watch movies or use their phone while driving on highways and in traffic jams at speeds up to 60kph. This level still requires the driver to be alert and ready to intervene, but the driver doesn’t need to actively monitor their surroundings at all times.

Level 2

Level 2 is when your car starts to take over steering and braking, but you still have to remain attentive and aware of your surroundings. Features like adaptive cruise control fall into this category, as they keep a safe distance from cars ahead and maintain your vehicle in the lane.

The key difference between Level 1 and Level 2, however, is that the driver still has to be available to intervene when the system encounters a scenario it can’t manage. For example, if you’re driving on the highway and the road suddenly turns to a narrow bridge, your car will prompt you to take over.

Audi’s Traffic Jam Pilot is a good example of this technology. It’s what’s referred to as conditional automation, and it allows you to read, work or even sleep while the car takes over on certain roads and highways. It also has built-in redundancies to prevent the driver from slipping into a coma or being incapacitated.

Level 3

At Level 3 the car can do both steering and accelerating/decelerating, but the driver must remain alert and ready to take control. Adaptive cruise control is an example of this kind of technology.

Mercedes is the first car manufacturer to offer Level 3 autonomous driving in the US. Its Drive Pilot suite is built on top of an array of cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and LiDAR scanning to create a comprehensive picture of the world around you. It also features multiple redundancies in case any one system fails.

The next step up from Level 3 is the coveted Level 4, which is a true level of fully autonomous driving. At this point, the vehicle can take you from Point A to Point B and will be restricted only by geofencing and weather conditions. Level 4 vehicles won’t require the driver to keep their hands on the wheel or pedals, although they may have the option to hide them Jetsons-style.

Level 4

As the name suggests, this is a fully automated system that takes over all driving tasks. It does not need a steering wheel or pedals and the driver can leave the vehicle to do other activities while in safe driving conditions. However, the driver must be ready to retake control at any moment.

These systems are capable of detecting unique driving situations like traffic jams and merging onto highways with minimal human intervention. They use high-definition mapping, more precise sensor fusion with advanced processing power, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

These vehicles are currently being developed and tested. Getting them to the market will require significant investment and will only be possible once manufacturers have demonstrated that their systems are safe, reliable and robust. They will likely be restricted to specific geographic areas (geofenced) and may require a driver in the passenger seat at all times.

Level 5

Autonomous vehicles that drive themselves are getting closer to reality thanks to advanced sensors, high-definition mapping, faster processors and more reliable cellular connections. However, it’s important to understand the six levels of vehicle automation, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

SAE Level 2 autonomy offers driver support systems that can control steering and acceleration, while the human driver manages monitoring of the environment. Drivers must remain alert and actively supervise the technology at all times.

Level 3 is a big step up from this, enabling drivers to do other things while the vehicle operates under certain conditions. Essentially, the driver can “mind off” the driving task and even go to sleep. However, the driver must be able to resume control quickly when asked to do so by the system. The vehicle is also restricted to specific spatial areas (geofenced) and under certain circumstances.