What You Need to Know About the 6 Levels of Vehicle Automation

Self-driving cars have been all of the buzz for the last few years, and it’s no wonder why. The prospects of having a car that can drive without any input from the driver are something that is appealing to many people. Instead of spending the morning commute competing with other vehicles and drivers in traffic jams, people could let their car take the wheel (truly) and direct them to their final destination safely and efficiently.

While the possibility of a fully autonomous car is located somewhere in the future, it, currently, is nowhere close to being available to the average consumer. The reason for this is because the cars on the market today have not hit a level of automation that is needed for fully-autonomous transportation.

So what level do vehicles need to get to in order to be classified as safe and fully autonomous? Experts have developed six levels of vehicle automation to classify cars at this moment in time. Here, we spell out how each degree of autonomy is classified.

Level 0

Autonomy at Level 0 is pretty self-explanatory. A Level 0 vehicle has no systems installed to assist drivers in any circumstance. Each movement or action of the car is a function of the driver’s doing.

Level 1

At Level 1, your vehicle can help you with a simple function like braking more quickly on the highway when you’re getting too close to another vehicle. Assistance on this level is minimal.

Level 2

Automakers around the world offer cars with Level 2 autonomy. These vehicles generally have systems that can steer or accelerate on their own, but they require careful attention from the driver to ensure that the computer makes no mistakes.

Level 3

The jump from Level 2 automation to Level 3 automation is quite significant. Drivers of autonomous cars at this level (think Tesla’s Autopilot feature or Cadillac’s Super Cruise) can disengage from driving much more, as these systems require less attention and little-to-no input for actions like braking or turning.

Level 4

This is a level of high automation and requires less and less contribution from the driver. Level 4 vehicles can turn, brake, accelerate, change lanes, and determine when conditions are safe for autonomy.

Level 5

The difference between a Level 4 and Level 5 car is that a level 5 vehicle (theoretically) can function entirely without human input. It can navigate complex driving situations like traffic jams or merging onto the highway and these vehicles, ideally, will never include steering wheels or brake pedals.

Exciting changes in the auto world are happening all the time. Even when cars reach Level 5 automation, your windshield will still be able to get cracked, and we’ll be there with our mobile auto glass repair in Columbus, OH to fix it before the problem gets worse.

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