Six levels of driving automation explained in simple terms

By CARSIFU | 17 December 2018

PETALING JAYA: The US-based SAE International has come out with a “consumer-friendly” visual chart that defines the six levels of driving automation.

The new chart by the Society of Automotive Engineers offers more easily understood  terms and definitions for the levels, which are frequently cited and referred to by industry and media.

The infographic will help to eliminate confusion by providing clarity and using terms more commonly used by consumers. It shows no automation to full automation.


READ MORE: Details on driving automation

The infographic with an unwieldy title “SAE J3016: Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to On-Road Motor Vehicle Automated Driving Systems” was issued, in part, to speed the delivery of an initial regula­tory framework and best practices to guide manufacturers and other entities in the safe design, development, testing, and deployment of highly automated vehicles.

The US Department of Transportation uses J3016’s six levels of automation for on-road motor vehicles in its “Federal Automated Vehicles Policy” and the document became a de facto global standard adopted by stakeholders in the automated vehicle technology.

To get an idea of what existing cars offer in driving automation capability, here are some examples available in Malaysia that have Level 1 and Level 2  driving automation capability:

Level 2:
Volvo XC90/XC60/XC40/S90, Mercedes-Benz S 450 L, Hyundai Ioniq HEV Plus, Honda Odyssey/CR-V/Accord (Honda Sensing)

Level 1:
Proton X70, Ford Ranger Raptor/Ranger Wildtrak, Mazda6, Perodua Myvi 1.5 AV, Toyota Rush/Harrier, Mercedes-Benz A-Class/C-Class/E-Class

BMW_3 Series_2018_G20
A recent G20 BMW 3 Series presentation showing the advancement the latest model has made in partial autonomous driving. The new 3 Series, now at Level 2 autonomy, will arrive in Malaysia next year.