Levels of Automation for Automated Driving
Six levels have been defined from 0 to 5 for national and international use to classify the degree of automation of the individual systems (see figure). This technical classification describes which tasks the system carries out, and which tasks/requirements the driver has to fulfill.
At Level 1 the system independently recognizes its limits, that is, the point at which its functions can no longer cope with the environmental conditions. In this case, the vehicle requests the driver to resume the task of driving. The driver no longer has to continuously monitor the longitudinal and lateral control of the vehicle. However, he must be able to resume driving when the system signals him to do so, with some extra time in reserve.
From Level 2 onwards, the driver can hand over the entire task of driving to the system in specific use cases. These scenarios refer to the type of road, the speed range, and the environmental conditions.
The last development level is that of driverless driving, Level 3. The vehicle can completely independently perform the task of driving in full on all types of roads, in all speed ranges and under all environmental conditions. At present nobody can say when this level of automation will be achieved. The research and development is initially focusing on the automation levels for partially, highly, and fully automated driving. Fully automated driving on highways will probably become possible in the decade after next.