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Definition: autonomous vehicle levels

Following are the five stages of vehicle automation. Each level includes all the functions of the previous levels. See self-driving car.

Level 0 - No real automation; however, all cars have built-in safety features such as anti-lock brakes (see ABS) as well as warnings for open doors and unbuckled seat belts. See TPM.

Level 1 - In 2020, most new cars have the following driver-assist features, which can be looked up individually. See navigation system, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance system, lane departure system, blind spot monitoring and adaptive headlights.

Level 2 - User-initiated self-driving; for example, Tesla's Autopilot. However, drivers must have their hands on the wheel, at least periodically. In 2020, a few models of cars are at this stage.

Level 3 - Autonomous driving but driver must be able to take control.

Level 4 - Complete autonomous driving when conditions are appropriate.

Level 5 - No steering wheel. Fully automatic.