Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle

Autonomous vehicle driving is going to change how we drive. Reduced traffic congestion, reduced commuting expenses, and no more parking space circles would make our everyday commutes smoother, less stressful, and more accessible. Harmful CO2 emissions will also be decreased, improving the quality of the air we breathe. Fully-automated vehicles might not be the norm yet, but as we would imagine, the fact is not as far away. There are five Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle, driving automation stages that determine how capable a vehicle is of functioning without human interference on its own. The classification system was developed in 2014 by SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers) and is often used as a reference point in vehicle automation discussions.

The Future of Autonomous Vehicles

We have all learned from Tesla’s Model S to Waymo’s Firefly 1 that autonomous vehicles are the future and promising to ease traffic congestion, minimize pollution and remove parking stresses absolutely, no wonder why.

Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle
Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle

Level 0 of Autonomous Vehicle’s Automation

It carries all tasks, including steering, accelerating, and braking, out by the driver, and the vehicle does not have autonomous or self-driving controls at all. Virtually any road vehicle provides autonomy at level 0. A typical instance will be the Honda Jazz 2018. It performs all operational activities such as steering, braking, accelerating or slowing down, and so on.

Mostly, the cars on the road are manual, making them level 0.0. At this stage, however, there are some automated systems in place to assist the driver. That includes the emergency braking system and standard cruise control.

Level 1 of Autonomous Vehicle’s Automation

Although most cars on the road are manual, some newer models have automatic assisted driving systems, such as adaptive cruise control and assistance for lane control.

Impact of Autonomous Vehicles

The driver still performs most of the car’s functions at this stage, but with a little autonomous assistance. For example, if you are edging too close to another car, a level one vehicle could provide you with a brake boost, or it could have an adaptive cruise control feature to control your distance and speed. These features help to ensure the car and driver’s overall safety. The driver is always very much in charge, though, and controls the basic functions of driving, such as steering and braking. 

Level 2 of AV Automation

It is called PARTIAL AUTOMATION. Partial automation allows drivers on certain driving functions to disconnect. Level 2 cars can help with functions such as steering, acceleration, braking, and speed maintenance, but drivers will need to keep both hands on the wheel and, if necessary, be able to take control.

At this stage, most car manufacturers are currently designing vehicles where the vehicle can help. Also to take responsibility for the majority of safety-critical tasks and all environmental monitoring. These cars can automatically brake, accelerate, and steer. However, as a driver needs to stay in charge and must still pay attention to traffic, these are not completely autonomous vehicles.

Level 3 Automation

It is the CONDITIONAL AUTOMATION. The attention of the driver is critical at this point, but when conditions are safe, it can disengage from “safety-critical” functions such as braking and leave it to the technology. It needs no attention of a human to the road at speeds below 37 miles per hour by many current Level 3 vehicles. Audi announced the Stage 3 autonomous vehicles.

Although these are not fully autonomous vehicles, on motorways, they are able to drive themselves for long distances.

Drivers, also known as ‘eyes-off’ cars, will focus their attention on other things, such as using a mobile phone, for example. When drove at a speed of less than 60 km/h, many Level 3 cars do not need any human intervention at all.

Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle
Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle

Level 4 of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle

This is the high degree of automation now, and it can not decide between more complex driving conditions such as traffic congestion or a highway merge.

The vehicle is capable of steering, braking, accelerating, tracking the vehicle and the roadway at levels 4 and 5. Reacting to incidents, deciding when lanes should be shifted, turning, and using signals. Here, when conditions are safe, the autonomous driving system will first alert the driver. Only then does the driver turn the vehicle to that mode.

While there are currently a few Level 4 cars on the road among the Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle. Technology needs modification with more possibly on the way, by legislation and infrastructure. Level 4 cars are mostly limited to restricted areas and speeds for these reasons. 

They can also monitor road conditions and respond to barriers, deciding when to turn and when to change lanes. Driving will be allowed only when road conditions are optimal will Level 4 autonomous.

Level 5 of of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle

This is the Full AUTOMATION. There is no need of Pedals, brakes, or a steering wheel. As it manages all the critical tasks by the autonomous vehicle system and environmental monitoring. Moreover, there is control and detection of specific driving situations, such as traffic jams.

Last and least (in terms of human participation) is the autonomy of Level 5. It needs absolutely no human attention to this degree of autonomous driving.

Vehicles can steer, accelerate, brake, and track road conditions, such as traffic jams, for example. Level 5 automation basically allows the driver to sit back and relax. Without having to pay any attention to the functions of the car at all.

Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle
Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle

Vehicles using Artificial Intelligence among the Levels of Automation in Autonomous Vehicle

Vehicles will be powered using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and will respond to sensor-generated, real-world data points. We highlighted in a previous article on AI and mobility that in autonomous vehicles. A huge amount of data is generated, as much as 4 TB per hour. In order to obtain real-time responses, we need only a powerful computer system. Such as Artificial Intelligence can process such large quantities of data quickly enough.

Autonomous Vehicle Technology

Now, for another day, how our community, government, and city planners can embrace and resolve this gigantic transportation change is a mystery.