The Current State of Autonomous Vehicle Technology According to

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The Current State of Autonomous Vehicle Technology According to

The Current State of Autonomous Vehicle Technology According to

It can seem lately as though all of the attention in the automotive technology sector has been devoted to electrification. Some drivers may be left wondering what happened to all the hype about self-driving cars, more accurately termed autonomous vehicles. The good news is that, while the public has been focused more on electrification than automation in recent years, industry leaders and government officials have been hard at work finding ways to move forward.

Why Automate at All?

Currently, the U.S. autonomous vehicles market is worth around $4 billion. It is expected to increase to around $186 billion by 2030. Needless to say, most people, are still looking forward to the release of fully automated vehicles.

Some companies, like Torc Robotics, are focused on improving the efficiency of modern supply chains through the use of fully automated semi-trucks. Other groups are developing technologies aimed at passenger vehicles. In both cases, according to, automotive safety would be dramatically improved.

The Current State of Autonomous Vehicle Availability

With autonomous vehicle caucus, Congress members aim to advance technology for self-driving cars, and they’re not the only ones pushing the envelope. Automakers are also working diligently with tech firms to determine the best roads forward, and some are already releasing vehicles that feature hands-free technology. If interested, “you could look here” to discover vehicles that are currently on the road that already have driver-assist features that could accurately be termed as partially autonomous systems.

SAE Levels of Vehicle Driving Automation

To understand where automakers and are currently in terms of progress toward fully autonomous vehicles, it’s worth discussing the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards for automation. Currently, no vehicle available to average consumers goes above a two on the six-point scale. The scale consists of:

  • Level 0 (no automation). Full manual control with no automation

  • Level 1 (driver assistance). Inclusion of single automated driver-assistance features

  • Level 2 (partial automation). Humans monitor all tasks but vehicles control steering and acceleration

  • Level 3 (conditional automation). Vehicles can perform most essential driving tasks, but human override is still a necessity

  • Level 4 (high automation). Vehicles perform all driving tasks, but only under specific circumstances, and a human override is still an option

  • Level 5 (full automation). Vehicles perform all driving tasks with no human interaction required.

Although average drivers cannot yet purchase even conditionally automated cars, the technology is there. There are multiple companies producing level-4, self-driving vehicles of various sorts for use as shuttles and taxis in low-speed urban environments. However, federal and state regulations have yet to catch up.

The Future Is Here

Companies across the world are testing and manufacturing level-4 automated vehicles for use in transporting both goods and people. Currently, all autonomous vehicles under production still have the option for human overrides. However, fully autonomous, level-5 vehicles are being tested in some parts of the world. Even if the public isn’t paying much attention to these novel technologies, research and development continue apace. As long as government regulations allow for it, the widescale adoption of highly and fully autonomous vehicles should be right around the corner.

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