Autonomous Driving Levels

Everyone has heard of autonomous cars, but did you know that most modern cars are on the autonomous driving scale, here is a simplistic overview of the levels of autonomy.

Officially, the levels of autonomy are classed into 5 levels:

  • Level 1: “Hands on the wheel”: The car has driver assistance functions but under the supervision of a driver. Basically, the car may apply the brakes for you etc.
  • Level 2 “Hands on and off the wheel”: The car is driving itself (automated driving) but the driver is providing full supervision. This what Tesla provide at the moment, although this is creeping to Level 3.
  • Level 3 “Hands off and Eyes off, but…”: This where is gets interesting, the car is driving itself (automated driving) in defined situations but without driver supervision, with driver is required to take the wheel if requested by the system. The System is in charge.
  • Level 4 “Hands off the wheel, Eyes off and Mind Off”: The car is driving itself (automated driving) in defined situations without driver supervision without requiring the driver to take the wheel.
  • Level 5 “Driverless”: The car is driving itself (automated driving)  but without the driver. This is the holy grail of autonomous driving.