Self-driving cars can be considered as the future of automobile industry. Some of the leading brands have already started manufacturing self-driven cars and they would revolutionize the entire industry during the future. On the other hand, companies such as Uber Otto and Google Waymo have started using them for the day to day business needs. However, all the self-driving cars that exist out there in the world are not the same. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of United States has divided the autonomous cars into five different categories based on their features. They range from Level 0 up to Level 4.
Level 0 cars are the basic vehicles that you can find out there on the road. They don’t have any advanced features like assisted braking or cruise control.
When it comes to level 1 vehicle, you will be able to find more specific functions such as pre-charged brakes and stability control. These features are in a position to offer some sort of assistance to the drivers.
The next level up consists of at least two different primary control functions. They can be considered as the basic level of autonomous vehicles. The features that you can see in the level 2 vehicles include adaptive cruise control, where the standard cruise control system is paired up with sensors in order to help the drivers maintain a minimum distance from other vehicles on the road. Most of the self-driven vehicles that you can find out there in the world belong to this level. For example, the autopilot system introduced by Tesla to their vehicles, which offers the ability to control the speed and switch lanes, is based on level 2.
The next level is level 3 and the cars owned by Uber, which operate at Pittsburg, belong to this level. Level 3 vehicles have the ability to help the driver to cede complete control of all the safety critical functions of the vehicle, under specific environmental or traffic conditions. However, the driver should still be available in order to control the vehicle occasionally.
Level 4 can be considered as the highest level of self-driven vehicles. People who drive these cars just need to input the destination. They don’t need to be available for the control of the vehicle and it has the ability to take the driver to the destination. It is also possible to operate the Level 4 vehicles without having anyone on the driving seat. However, the concept of level 4 vehicles is still being developed and it would take some time for them to hit the market. The leading automobile brands are working hard to introduce them to the market in the near future.
With the introduction of self-driving vehicles, safety has become a highly debated topic. People are still unaware about who should take the responsibility when a self-driving car encounters an accident. Therefore, you should keep the fact in your mind while driving.