The Levels Of Vehicle Automation

Automation is the future of transportation. Whether it is public or private transportation, many manufacturers and researchers are exploring automation. We all have seen futuristic cars in the movies. However, we are not quite there yet. Fully automated vehicles aren’t still available for the public and tests are still being conducted. Before we can have driverless transport systems, there is a need to perfect the automated vehicle technology first.

The good news is that there are some vehicles that are already automated at some level–that is. Today, we will see the five levels of vehicle  automation:

Non-automated vehicles

This level describes most of the cars and modes of transportation we have today. These cars are manual and they are controlled fully by the driver. However, there may be some emergency braking systems involved in some vehicles. Since that doesn’t essentially drive the car, then it isn’t considered as automated at all.

1st Level: Cars With Driver Assistance

In this level, there is some sort of automation with the adaptive cruise control or steering. Adaptive cruise control helps keep a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. All other aspects of driving are still left in the hands of the driver.

2nd Level: Partial Automation

This level of automation is what several car manufacturers offer like Tesla, Audi, and Volvo offers. It can control the steering as well as the speed of the vehicle. However, even if it controls several parts of the vehicle, the driver can still take control of the car at any time.

3rd Level: Conditional Automation

With this level of automation, the car has the capability to detect its environment. Such automation can accelerate and pass by a slow-moving vehicle. However, drivers still need to be alert at all times and take control of the vehicle in case the automation fails to properly execute.

4th Level: High Driving Automation

In this high level of vehicle automation, the car itself can go into a self-driving mode and do not require the driver’s interaction in most cases. However, drivers can still manually override the system. Currently, they are also very limited in certain areas only, known as geofencing. Also, the legislation still isn’t in line with the automation of vehicles for private use. Today, most are geared towards ridesharing.

5th Level: Full Automation

Full automation wouldn’t require any driver at all. The cars won’t even need a steering wheel nor brake pads and acceleration pedals. The cars are also able to go anywhere and won’t be limited by geofencing. These types of vehicles are still under the testing phase.