A Look At How Automobiles Are Being Automated

Cars are now becoming more automated than ever before, however, full automation won't happen overnight. This technology is currently being rolled out in various stages as is defined by the NHTSA.

Level 1 - The first level of automation is driver assistance. At this stage the car is still controlled by the driver, however, the car will have a few driver-assist features. These can include blind-spot detection as well as support for lane keeping. This level of automation is now present in most cars.

Level 2 - The next stage is partial automation. In this stage, the vehicle has a combined automated ability such as automated acceleration, steering, etc. With this particular type of automation, the driver will be able to remove his or her hands from the steering wheel for short spaces of time, however, they still need to closely monitor the road and their environment while taking a very active role in driving. Some of the features in partially automated vehicles include parking assistance, traffic jam assist, controlled steering on smoothly paved roads, etc.

Level 3 - The third level is conditional automation. At this level, the driver is still needed to drive the car but they don't need to monitor the road and environment. However, they will still need to be ready to take control of the vehicle if needed.

Level 4 - The fourth level is high automation. At this particular level, the car is fully capable of executing all driving functions with certain conditions in place. However, the driver can still take control of the car if needed or desired.

Level 5 - In the final stage, there is full automation. At this stage, the car can easily complete all driving functions, no matter what the driving or environmental conditions may be. These types of cars will probably be available from 2025 according to estimates by Abuelsamid. It is not yet known whether the driver will be able to control fully automated cars as yet.

Read more about the future of automotive technology in this article by Fircroft.