The 6 steps to the car without driver

Avto 15 August, 2017
  • Frédéric Mercier

    Tuesday, 15 August, 2017 10:24

    Tuesday, 15 August, 2017 10:24

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    The car that drives itself is not a utopia. For years, many car manufacturers invest fortunes to develop systems capable of replacing the human behind a steering wheel.

    Of course, this will not happen overnight. And even if some brands such as Tesla and Mercedes-Benz offer systems already rather advanced, the race to the autonomous car has not yet been won. Far from it.

    To understand the steps toward full automation of the driving, experts in the field have divided into six levels, the types of self-sustaining technologies.


    Level 0

    This is driving at its most simple. Hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times. At level 0, no technology is in place to warn you or to deflect your vehicle in its lane in case of danger. Everything depends on the driver.

    Level 1

    At level 1, the driver must keep eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel. However, some systems are put in place to intervene on certain occasions. The detectors blind, and the front collision warning are good examples. A lot of new vehicles sold in 2017 are equipped with this type of technology.


    Read also: 9 behaviors that irritate Quebecers in the car


    Level 2

    At this stage, the vehicle is partially automated and the driver can temporarily let go of the steering wheel and eyes off the road. The car semi-autonomous level 2 may as well stay the course and adjust its speed itself, but a driver is essential, especially in a situation of urban driving.

    Models like the Tesla Model S or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class are currently part of this category.


    Level 3

    From level 3, a vehicle is considered to be highly automated and can theoretically move around without human intervention. The “driver” must, however, remain behind the wheel and be ready to intervene if the vehicle makes an application.

    Level 4

    At this point, the vehicle can move itself and will not require the assistance of the operator, except in certain specific situations where human intervention might still be appropriate.

    Level 5

    Finally, the car fully autonomous. A system of level 5 can be operated without a steering wheel or pedals. All the people on board are passengers who allow themselves to be transported from point A to point without having to control anything.