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The Road to Full Automation

"Automation" can refer to the automated control of any number of functions within an automobile. The Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) has defined six levels of automation, illustrated in Figure 1. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) adopted these definitions in 2016.

This includes everything from no automation (where a fully engaged driver is required at all times), to full autonomy (where an automated vehicle operates independently, without a human driver).


SAE Level 2

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5