Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Different automation levels of driverless cars

A driverless car also called an autonomous car, self-driving car or robotic car. It is not completely driven by the automation system, some part of driving controlled by the system and human driver controls some part of it. A complete driverless car has not developed yet. Some leading companies in technology and car manufacturing like Google, Apple, Tesla, Audi, and Ford are working to develop fully automated driverless cars. Not all types of self-driving cars are same, there are different levels of theirs. Some companies are trying its own way to bring its own self driving car in the market. 

SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers) has defined 6 levels of an autonomous vehicle that will decide which level your car will work itself and when a driver has to take control of steering or sit idle.

ASE Levels of selfdriving cars

Level 0: No Automation
Here human performs all driving functions. Here, human driver handles steering, monitor the driving environment and control the speed of the vehicle by acceleration or deceleration. Today’s ordinary low budget cars fall in this category where the automated system in such vehicles have no control on driving but it issues suggestions and warnings in some high budget cars. 

Level 1: Driver Assistance
Here driving control is shared between driver and automated system. Here, automated system controls speed and the driver has to control steering, this is called Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).You can use parking assistance where steering is controlled by the automated system and driver controls the speed. Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) type 2 is another feature that helps a driver to keep in lane. When the car is deviating from traffic lane the automated system will detect it and alert to the driver. Some companies provide the combination of ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) and LKA (Lane Keeping Assistance) to provide more safety.  

Level 2: Partial Automation
In this level, automated system controls accelerator, brake, and steering. Driver must have to monitor driving and always have to be prepared to take control immediately at any time if the automated system is not responding properly. Tesla’s autopilot system is an example of this level although some people consider it in level 3 also due to the minor difference between level 2 and 3.

Level 3: Conditional Automation
Here automated system controls driving and driver attention are requires when the system tells to take control, otherwise, the driver can watch a movie as the vehicle will handle all critical and immediate actions like the emergency brake. Here driver still needs to be prepared to take control at any time when the automated system tells to do so. Audi A8 is a first commercial level 3 self-drive car for which the company claims. 

Level 4: High Automation
This is similar to Level 3 but here drive attention or control is not required for safety, here driver may sleep or leave seat also. This complete self-driving applicable in limited areas or under some special circumstances like traffic jams. Except for these areas or circumstances, a driver has to take control otherwise automated system may stop the drive by safely parking the vehicle. Google and Waymo are working to develop level 4 autonomous car and others companies are also working to launch high automation cars in next few years. 

Level 5: Full Automation
A human driver is not required, here automated system controls and monitors all driving functions even steering is optional. We can call it a robotic taxi.

Right now we are on level 2 and working on level 4 and skipping level 3 as it is not much different than level 2.So we will go to level 4 and after that in future may be on level 5.There are some pros and cons of a driverless car.


  • The main aim to develop autonomous vehicle is to reduce accidents. As per the study, 9 accidents out of 10 are caused due to human error. It will reduce accidents drastically and save the life of peoples which directly beneficial to insurance companies.
  • It will significantly reduce traffic and congestion.
  • Here computer calculates the safe speed for a drive, monitor the environment and optimizes the speed so it will reduce travel time also.

  • Due to self driving cars thousands of driver will lose their jobs in one country and millions of in the world.
  • It will consume more fuel in high traffic areas so it would be costly.
  • If the people will not adopt it widely then it would be costly, time-consuming and can increase accidents.

In this article, we have covered different automation levels of driverless cars and some pros and cons of driverless cars.So would you like to travel in a driverless car?You can answer in the comment.
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Mahefooz Khan is the owner of MKVidz360 website and Youtube channel also.He is a blogger and Youtuber from India.He writes the article on technology and other helpful information for peoples.

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