WHAT IS AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE?
Juan Carlos Aguilera
The world of autonomous vehicles is flooded with acronyms such as DDT, ODD, OEDS, ADS, and I’ll start introducing those terms as applicable on the different posts.
An Automated Driving System (ADS) is defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) at its standard J3016 as the Hardware and Software that are collectively capable of performing the entire dynamic driving task (DDT) on a sustained basis. This definition will be applicable for driving automation levels 3,4 and 5.
The British Standard Institution ( BSI ) defines a DDT as a Real-Time operational and tactical functions required to operate a vehicle safely in on-road traffic. This means that is the group of actions that a vehicle could take in a continuous way to drive safely on the roads.
In other words, an autonomous vehicle will be a set of hardware and software that can make and take decisions on the roads, in a safe and sustained way.
What are the Levels of driving automation?
The Levels of driving automation are a classification done by the SAE defined on the J3016 standard. There are 6 automation levels, that goes from Level 0 (No Automation) to Level 5 (Full Automation),
Currently, there is absolutely no one who has a Level 5 vehicle, there are several companies that are working on Level 4 automation and some of the great manufacturers are between Level 2 and Level 3.
So what does each level means:
Levels 0 to 2 are levels that are driver support features, this means that the driver must be available at all times and take specific actions to maneuver the vehicle at all times.
Levels 3 to 5: Are automated driving features, this means that the driver on some of these levels will take action only if the vehicle request it and in some others is not going to be necessary at all.
Level 0: There is no automation on the vehicle and the operator is fully responsible for the actions of the vehicle.
Level 1: There is a specific task that the vehicle can do by itself like accelerating and braking or changing from one line to another.
Level 2: Is when the vehicle can autonomously take decisions on accelerating and braking as well as changing from one line to another.
Level 3: The driver must be available at all times. The vehicle can drive by itself under very specific conditions best known as Operational Design Domain ( ODD ), but can request to the driver at any time to take control of it.
Level 4: The vehicle can drive by itself on a specific ODD, it can take safe action on an unexpected behavior even if the operator does not respond to an intervention request.
Level 5: The vehicle can drive by itself under any conditions.