Following are the stages of vehicle automation. Each level includes all the functions of the previous levels. See self-driving car
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
In 2021, most new cars have some or all of these driver-assist features: navigation system
, adaptive cruise control
, collision avoidance system
, lane departure system
, blind spot monitoring
and adaptive headlights
User-initiated self-driving; however, drivers must have their hands on the wheel, at least periodically. In 2014, Tesla's Autopilot was first to reach this level in a production vehicle. In 2021, several car models are at this stage.
Autonomous driving but driver must be able to take control. In 2021, a few car models are approaching this stage.
Complete autonomous driving when conditions are appropriate.
No steering wheel. Fully automated.
Level 5 Became a Goal
Around the mid-2000s, the idea of fully driverless cars in the future was getting attention as the cover of the September 2016 issue of PC Magazine highlights. (Image courtesy of PCMag.com.)