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Definition: autonomous vehicle


A car or truck that is self driving. Following are the five stages of automation for vehicles. Each stage includes all the functions of the previous ones. See self-driving car.

Stage 1 - Antilock brakes (see ABS).

Stage 2 - Warnings (low tire pressure, open doors).

Stage 3 - Safety systems. See adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance system, lane departure system, blind spot monitoring and adaptive headlights.

Stage 4 - User-initiated self driving like the autopilot in an airplane cockpit; for example, Tesla's Autopilot. We are currently at this stage in 2019. See self-driving car.

Stage 5 - Self driving. No steering wheel.