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SAE Automated / Autonomous vehicle classifications

Glossary of terms - Autonomous / Driverless vehicles & related technologies

SAE Automated / Autonomous vehicle classifications

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SAE Automated vehicle classifications

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This is the current industry recognized classification system of Autonomous vehicles. It is based on six different levels, which range from driver assistance to fully autonomous vehicle control. This was first published in 2014 by the SAE International, which is an automotive standardisation body. This classification system is entirely related to degrees of driver input required, not the capabilities of the vehicle.

The different levels are defined as follows:

Level 0: Automated system has no vehicle control, but may issue warnings.

Level 1: Driver must be ready to take control at any time. Automated system may include features such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Parking Assistance with automated steering, and Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) Type II in any combination.

Level 2: The driver is obliged to detect objects and events and respond if the automated system fails to respond properly. The automated system executes accelerating, braking, and steering. The automated system can deactivate immediately upon takeover by the driver.

Level 3: Within known, limited environments (such as freeways), the driver can safely turn their attention away from driving tasks.

Level 4: The automated system can control the vehicle in all but a few environments such as severe weather. The driver must enable the automated system only when it is safe to do so. When enabled, driver attention is not required.

Level 5: Other than setting the destination and starting the system, no human intervention is required. The automatic system can drive to any location where it is legal to drive.

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