Levels of Autonomous Driving

Autonomous driving, once a staple of science fiction, is starting to become a reality. It would reduce road deaths, ease congestion and allow old and disabled people to get around.


Driverless cars use sensors to perceive their surroundings, map nearby features, read lane markings and traffic signs and identify pedestrians. They then transmit directions to actuators, which control acceleration, braking and steering.

Level 1

This level applies to a large share of the cars that are on the road today equipped with various advanced driver assistance systems, such as lane keeping assist or adaptive cruise control. These systems can support the driver with com 인천운전연수 bined longitudinal and lateral functions but do not take over full responsibility, which must always be regained by the driver.

The driver must monitor the system and touch the steering wheel regularly to be able to intervene immediately if necessary, as well as stay alert to driving conditions. In addition, the driver must be ready to hand over driving tasks if the system reaches its limits.

This level is often referred to as “hands-off” autonomy, as it allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel while still remaining attentive. Examples include Tesla’s Autopilot and Nissan’s ProPilot. However, the car will usually warn the driver that it is no longer in a condition that it can handle and will require that the driver retake control. It may also implement a safety measure, such as slowing down and parking, if the driver doesn’t retake control.

Level 2

At this level of autonomy, a driver can take their hands off the wheel for short periods of time. The system handles acceleration and braking but still requires the hu 인천운전연수 man driver to be alert and ready to take control if needed. Think of adaptive cruise control as a good example of this – it takes over steering and maintains a safe distance between your car and the vehicle ahead, but still requires you to be engaged and ready to handle things at any moment.

Level 3 steps it up with more advanced artificial intelligence, allowing the car to gauge traffic situations and respond accordingly. This is the level where you’d see cars like Google’s Waymo partnering with Lyft to offer fully autonomous commercial ride-sharing services in Phoenix, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

There’s no real legislation governing the use of Level 3 systems, which makes them a bit of a legal gray area. Audi even killed its Traffic Jam Pilot feature on the A8 because it would have made that a Level 3 system, which isn’t allowed on roads in the US.

Level 3

The next level, Level 3 (the first step towards full autonomy), is a more advanced version of today’s mild driver assist systems like Tesla’s Autosteer for city streets or GM’s Super Cruise on highways. This system allows the car to take over all aspects of driving, including steering and braking, but requires you to remain attentive to the road and ready to retake control whenever the system asks.

This allows drivers to relax, do other tasks in the vehicle, or even sleep. The only catch is that you still need to be ready to take over at a moment’s notice, which will likely require you to check your mirrors and glance down at the dashboard to ensure you can keep your eyes on the road.

In Level 4 (or “mind off”), the human driver can safely remove their hands from the wheel and let the car drive itself without the need to continuously monitor the environment around it. These vehicles are also able to travel through geofences and can handle difficult conditions such as traffic, damaged roads, and severe weather.

Level 4

This level marks a significant technological improvement over level 2 as vehicles become completely self-driven. However, achieving this level presents us with a number of new challenges that will require a lot of work to overcome.

Vehicles that reach this level of autonomy are able to take over most driving functions, requiring human intervention only in cases of extreme environments or system failure. While they can do this, the driver must be on hand to take over and still monitor the surroundings at all times.

Unlike level 3, this allows drivers to safely engage in other activities in the car like watching movies or using their mobile phones. It is also possible for them to take a nap, although this may not be recommended by most manufacturers.

At this level, a vehicle will use various sensors to gather data on the environment around it and make decisions about how to drive. It can handle almost all driving tasks but it will need to communicate with other vehicles on the road to avoid collisions and traffic jams.

Level 5

The sci-fi vision of fully hands-off driving is a few steps away. It’s called Level 4 and it will eventually allow you to work, watch movies or just sleep while your car drives itself.

This level is a big step up from the partial automation currently available in many cars like Highway Driving Assist, Ford’s BlueCruise and a host of others that will soon be on the market. At this point, the driver must still be ready to take over control, and the system will prompt them if it encounters a situation it can’t handle.

The next step up is Level 4 (also known as “mind off”), which allows the vehicle to perform all critical tasks, monitor its environment and identify unique road situations. These cars aren’t bound by geofences and can travel anywhere without a human driver, including in traffic, on damaged roads or during severe weather conditions. The only time a human needs to be involved is to set the destination. NAVYA and Alphabet’s Waymo are already bringing level 4 technology to market with driverless taxis and shuttles.