Read this one about the levels of autopilot

Recently, Google, which has been quiet on the self-driving front for a long time, suddenly dropped a "bombshell": they will commercialize driverless taxi business this year (you read that right!). (That's this year, 2018). In fact, in November last year, Google put 500 self-driving cars into trial operation, and this time, Google made it very clear that they will produce thousands more self-driving cars in 2018 and put them into taxi operations. The news means that driverless people who have been hotly hyped for years are really coming to us. Google is clearly technically ready, and these driverless taxis will provide Google with a lot of data to further improve its technology in the future.

The exciting thing is that Google is not alone in the battle, recently a Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro also released a Level 4 self-driving car, the car does not have a steering wheel, throttle, and no brakes, mainly for logistics delivery, its daily work is like this: the usual city streets, to your home downstairs, you will send you an app notification containing a password, you go downstairs with the password to open the door, take out their own delivery, and then it is not slow to run to the next home.

Nuro the company was just founded in 2016 and its founders are also from Google's self-driving team. The unmanned delivery vehicle, which has been in development for 17 months and is the first product released by Nuro, also takes into account pedestrian protection in detail when it comes to body construction and material selection. In the future Nuro will mass produce this vehicle, while the initial application areas will be placed in restaurants, fresh supermarkets, dry cleaning, pharmacies, etc.

Now that L4 level self-driving cars are very close to mass commercialization, the question arises that many people may still be confused about the classification of self-driving, although we often hear in the news that this car reaches L2 and that car reaches L3, so what exactly do these levels mean? We'll talk about it in more detail today.

In fact, there are currently two main criteria for self-driving, one is developed by the NHSTA (National Highway Safety Administration) under the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the other is developed by SAE International (International Association of Automotive Engineers), in which SAE standards are clearer and simpler, so the current standards are SAE International standards.

SAE International classifies autonomous driving technologies into L0, L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5, for a total of six levels, as follows.

L0: represents conventional human driving without any automated driving incorporated, where the car only gives partial warnings, such as speed, distance to the car in front, blind spots, etc.

L1: The steering wheel and acceleration provide an automatic operation, such as adaptive cruise or lane keeping.

L2: Steering and acceleration/deceleration offer two automatic operations such as adaptive cruise + lane keeping, etc.

All three of these levels require the driver to monitor the environment and make quick decisions, with the car itself simply having "conditioned" actions without any "thinking".

L3: The system makes all driving operations automatically and can observe road conditions (e.g. traffic signals, pedestrians, roadside conditions, etc.) and can make correct decisions, but requests from the system require the driver to provide an answer. L3 level means that the system has the initial "thinking ability" and can drive fully automatically most of the time, but needs a human to "escort", just like a student in a driving school, can already drive on the road, but needs to sit next to the instructor.

L4: The system automatically makes all driving operations, autonomous decisions, and drivers do not need to provide answers, but generally limit their driving area, such as public transport, logistics, taxis and so on. The L4 class means that the two cars can go fully autonomously, without the need for human escort, and devices such as steering wheels, throttle and brakes can be removed.

L5: Full-area autonomous driving. L5 level self-driving cars are like our old human drivers, able to drive themselves all over the territory, in all weather, proficiently dealing with changes in geography, climate and other environments.

Since L4 is so close now, isn't L5 not too far away either? Actually, no, it's still a leap from L4 to L5, and there may still be many unknown technical hurdles, except that L4 already has a very wide range of applications, and it's safe to say that dramatic changes are just around the corner.

Feel free to comment below to discuss and learn together!

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