An autonomous vehicle (AV), or a driverless vehicle is a vehicle that operates without any human involvement and can sense its surroundings. There are different types of Autonomous vehicles that are categorised into 6 different levels of autonomy.
Autonomous Vehicle Technology
AV vehicles are comprised of sensors and software to navigate and control the vehicle. The sensors include cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors and lidar that work together to identify their surroundings, they detect the speed and distance of nearby objects.
Types of Autonomous Vehicles
There are 6 levels of driving automation from no automation to full automation. The levels of autonomous were introduced by SAE International in their J3016 report to provide the global engineering committee a common platform to work from.
Levels of Autonomous Vehicles
Level 0 – no automation, a human driver is required to operate the vehicle and there are no autonomous features available.
Level 1 – driver assistance is required for all critical functionality, but the vehicle may have autonomous features such as automatic breaking and cruise control.
Level 2 – partial automation still requires drivers to still be in control of the vehicle, but these vehicles would have at least two automated functions such as steering and acceleration assistance.
Level 3 – conditional automation, this level the vehicle can handle dynamic driving tasks, but might need the driver to intervene if necessary. These autonomous features may include the vehicle taking full control over steering, acceleration and braking under certain conditions.
Level 4 – high automation, the vehicles are now classed as driverless and can now perform all safety-critical driving functions without the need of human intervention. A human driver has the option to take control and may need to do so under certain circumstances such as bad driving conditions.
Level 5 – full automation, the vehicle is completely driverless and will perform all driving functionality, zero human interaction is required.
Example of an Autonomous Vehicle
Jaguar Land Rover, unveiled their bold new concept vehicle, Project Vector. The self-driving pods are in advanced development stages and will be trialled in Coventry in 2021.
You can read the article about Project Vector here.