Autonomous Driving Explained

Once thought of as a lofty dream only to be accomplished in science fiction novels, the concept of autonomous driving has advanced rapidly in recent years. Truly the future of mobility as we know it, autonomous driving or “self-driving” technology is under development in order to enhance traffic efficiency, driver safety, and to reduce both congestion along with greenhouse emissions. While full autonomous driving is still in its infancy, some manufacturers have already to make semi-autonomous driving features available to the driving public. To help provide you with a better idea of how autonomous driving features operate, Blue Grass MOTORSPORT has created this helpful guide which will explain the development process, benefits, and how to use these groundbreaking technologies.

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot

Autonomous Driving Explained

Autonomous driving technology, often referred to as “self-driving” technology, is a collective term used to refer to vehicles which have some ability to automatically operate without driver inputs. It’s important to note that there are 5 levels of autonomous driving, each offering different capabilities and functions. Below, you’ll find an explanation of each of these autonomous driving levels.

Level 0 (No Automation)

Level 0 (No Automation)

This level refers to an average, ordinary car that you’re probably the most familiar with. They are likely equipped with cruise control to help reduce fatigue over long stretches of highway, but lack any autonomous driving features. These represent the vast majority of vehicles currently sold and driven in the United States.

Level 1 (Driver Assistance)

Level 1 (Driver Assistance)

The first level of autonomous driving features is available on a variety of current new models from Alfa Romeo, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Porsche. Technologies such as adaptive cruise control or lane-keeping assist are both examples which rely on a system of cameras and sensors to help you drive safely. What separates them from other types of self-driving features are the simple fact that they still rely on input from the driver.

Level 2 (Partial Automation)

Level 2 (Partial Automation)

Level 2 is where things start to get interesting. While drivers are still required to keep their hands on the steering wheel, level 2 automation is able to control both the steering and speed of the vehicle. A current example is Traffic Jam Pilot which is expected to launch on the Audi A8. This innovative system has the ability to keep the vehicle properly centered in its lane along with maintaining adequate following distance and speed relative to the vehicle in front of it.

Level 3 (Conditional Automation)

Level 3 (Conditional Automation)

Next up in the automation hierarchy, Level 3 vehicles have the ability to drive themselves but only under certain conditions. In the United States, these types of vehicles are still in development and remain subject to legislative approval. Drivers must still be behind the wheel, but on certain divided highways or at certain speeds – these vehicles are able to drive themselves.

Level 4 (High Automation)

Level 4 (High Automation)

Representing the future of mobility, companies such as Uber and Waymo have begun testing of level 4 vehicles which are capable of driving themselves without inputs from human drivers through most types of weather and road conditions. These technologies are still subject to an array of legal approvals and restrictions.

Level 5 (Full Automation)

Level 5 (Full Automation)

Still many years from widespread usage, level 5 vehicles offer true automation without the need for human interaction of any kind. In fact, there would be no need for pedals or a steering wheel at all! They would be able to navigate any type of driving situation autonomously. While it’s unknown when these types of vehicles will arrive, it’s certainly exciting to imagine the possibilities.


Audi RS 7 Self Driving Concept

Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles

Safety – Perhaps the most beneficial factor driving the development of autonomous vehicles is safety. Simply put, humans are subject to mistakes and errors behind the wheel. Thousands of fatalities from driving are attributed to driver error. When properly implemented, computer-aided vehicles won’t make the mistakes made by human operators and save lives in the process.

Environmental – It’s hard to ignore the environmental benefits offered by the transition to self-driven vehicles. Smarter infrastructure would theoretically reduce congestion, idling times, and miles driven per capita. Combined with advances in electric powertrains, efficiency would skyrocket with widespread autonomous adaptation. Accessible, affordable, and convenient autonomous driving choices would make driving less harmful to our environment.

Mobility – Autonomous vehicles would provide the perfect solution to help drivers get where they need to be in a timely and safe fashion. Those without the ability to drive themselves such as the disabled or elderly will benefit from the switch to self-driving vehicles. By eliminating the need to drive themselves, individuals could carpool while staying productive during the commute.

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Blue Grass Motorsport
Blue Grass Motorsport
4720 Bowling Blvd
Louisville, KY, 40207 US
(502) 894-3428
https://www.bluegrassauto.com/wp-content/themes/DealerInspireDealerTheme/images/logo.png
Blue Grass Motorsport 38.2430096, -85.6281225.