What Are the Different Self-Driving Car “Levels” of Autonomy?

What Are the Different Self-Driving Car “Levels” of Autonomy?

by Josh Hendrickson, How-To Geek

Self-driving cars seem like a promise that is here, almost here, and not coming for years all the same time. Those statements are all true because there are different “levels” of autonomy. Here’s what those levels mean.

If it seems like you’ve been told that cars can already self-drive and that cars can’t self-drive, you’ve heard it essentially right both ways. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines six levels of car autonomy. They released this guidance to both push forward and standardize autonomous vehicle testing.

Self-driving cars could potentially save many lives, but not having a common goal and agreed-upon rules against which to test could wipe out any potential gains. Much like it’s easier to know what to expect when you eventually buy a router that conforms to the Wi-Fi 6 standard, it’s easier to know what to expect when you someday buy a car that meets a self-driving level.

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