The levels of driving automation the automotive industry uses to classify autonomous vehicles has received an update to include more technology.
To keep up with the rapid advances in autonomous vehicles, on May 3, SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers), together with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), added and updated terms to its standard, J3016, which classifies driving automation capabilities into six levels.
Within the first three levels, the driver remains in charge. Level 0 involves warning and momentary assistance features such as automatic emergency braking and blind spot warnings. Level 1 involves steering, braking or accelerating, to support the driver. Level 2 involves steering, braking and accelerating to assist the driver. These systems are now called “driver support features.”
The final three levels count as automated driving. Level 3 requires a human driver to take control if the system demands. Level 4 allow driverless autonomy under limited conditions. Level 5 permits driverless autonomy in all conditions. These systems are now called “automated driving features.”
New terms in the standard include remote support technology. “Remote assistance” involves remotely providing information or advice to a driverless vehicle to help it proceed on a trip when it encounters a situation it cannot handle on its own. “Remote driving” involves taking over tasks such as braking, steering and acceleration.
The new changes also clarify differences between level 3 and 4. In level 3, the vehicle’s user must be ready to intervene if the vehicle requests it, although the user may be given at least a few seconds to prepare to drive after the vehicle makes its request. In level 4 and 5, the vehicle will not require a user to take over driving.
“As the development of automated driving technologies continues on a global scale, ‘SAE J3016: Levels of Driving Automation’ has evolved to align with the developing technologies and deployment strategies,” Barbara Wendling, chairperson for the SAE J3016 Technical Standards Committee, said in a statement. “Our collaborative partnership with ISO allowed us to expand and refine the Recommended Practice to better equip international customers with clear, concise and consistent language and definitions.”