BMW Explains the Five Levels of Autonomous DrivingMay 9, 2017
A lot has been said about what seems to be the one dream all automakers are sharing today, level 5 autonomous driving. A lot might’ve been said but even more has been invested in companies working in this field, yet there’s still a lot of ground to cover until we actually get there. BMW also invested in such a project and the Bavarian automaker even went as far as to offer us a fixed deadline.
By 2021 the BMW Group should have a level 3 autonomous driving car on the market, inspired by the BMW iNext concept. Of course, at the moment, it seems extremely far away but four years will go by in an instant and it will be interesting to see not only what BMW comes up with but other automakers as well.
At the moment, Tesla seems to be offering its customers the most advanced system out there, despite the various issues it had to deal with. In all fairness, its Autopilot system has been criticized and deemed even dangerous by some but it is the best the auto industry as a whole has to offer at the moment.
A lot of manufacturers are also offering Level 2 systems that allow drivers to take short breaks, usually just a few seconds long, from BMW to Mercedes-Benz and Volvo and even volume manufacturers such as Volkswagen. They are still pretty far away from Level 5 though, as the video below explains.
Basically, all levels of autonomous up to Level 5 require the human sitting inside the car to be able to take over the car’s controls at one point or another. Even though Level 4 autonomy would allow you to sleep while going for a longer trip, for example, at some point you’d have to take over the controls of the car, be that even for just a few minutes. That means, you’ll still need a driver’s license to operate it. However, Level 5 models would remove that requirement altogether. The future definitely sounds and looks interesting.