A Look Inside the Phases of Self-Driving Technology
June 14, 2018 (autoexpress.co.uk) An article from autoexpress.co.uk goes inside the levels of self-driving technology and points out where features like Tesla’s Autopilot fit on the current spectrum.*
Autonomous driving technology experts say there are five stages of autonomy for vehicles, and Autopilot is at a Level 2. Autopilot is a driving feature that allows a Tesla vehicle to take over some driving functions on its own. It is a semi-autonomous feature that allows the car to steer, brake, and accelerate, among other things, on its own.
Level 1 – The vehicle assists the driver in certain situations, like emergency braking, lane change alerts, and parallel parking. The car does not drive itself.
Level 2 – The vehicle performs enough driving functions that a driver can be “hands-off” for extended periods of time. The driver does not have to have his or her hands constantly on the steering wheel but does need to maintain constant eyes on the road.
Level 3 – The vehicle performs enough driving functions that the driver can be “eyes-off” for extended periods of time. The driver does not have to have hands on the steering wheel or eyes constantly on the road but does need to stay engaged to intervene if necessary.
Level 4 – The vehicle performs all driving functions and allows the driver to be “mind-off” within a closed-field setting. While in the closed field, the driver can move into another seat or even fall asleep.
Level 5 – The vehicle is completely autonomous in all settings.
Only one vehicle is in production that has reached Level 3 automation: the newest version of the Audi A8. However, the vehicle can only reach speeds of approximately 37 mph while using this level of autonomy. Vehicles capable of reaching full Level 3 autonomy and the other two levels are many, many years away, experts say.
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