In the last few decades, there has been a shift from highly primitive adaptive cruise control systems to Level 3 autonomous driving. These systems will practically take over the driving without your participation. This degree of support has yet to be seen on the roads (at least legally), but it's still really exciting. As a result, it is among the notable automobile innovations to look out for this year. For better or worse, Tesla is paving the way for "full self-driving" (FSD), which is currently still limited by bureaucratic hurdles. Elon recently stated that Teslas with FSD can drive themselves with significantly higher levels of safety than the average person.
Other automakers are following Elon's lead with their own solutions. One of the most notable is General Motors, which offers Ultra Cruise and Super Cruise technologies by subscription. The pace of innovation in this area is extremely high and shows no signs of slowing down. However, it is thought that automakers must strike a balance between driver safety and the desire for innovation.
History of Autonomous Systems
In 1948, Ralph Teetor, the same engineer who created the automatic transmission, invented the cruise control, which marked the beginning of driver aids. Driving automation began with the introduction of cruise control in the 1960s. For its time, the initial design was pretty high-tech. It had the ability to calculate wheel speed using the driveshaft and mechanically change the throttle inputs using an electric motor connected to the accelerator pedal.
Tesla is currently setting the standard through extensive testing of FSD technologies using a pool of selected test drivers. As soon as the driver enters a waypoint in the navigation system, the FSD will take control of the car. The technology is controversial because the driver must be able to intervene when necessary. As a result, the term “full self-driving” sounds misleading. Whether or not these systems are developed in real time on public roads raises moral and legal issues as well.
According to Mercedes Lilienthal, an automotive journalist and PR/marketing consultant for automotive companies, “Many drivers currently rely on driver aids such as lane keeping assist, collision brake control and blind spot recognition to help prevent accidents and correct careless driving.
“While these systems represent a quantum leap forward, Lilienthal and I agree that current technology that helps drivers keep their attention ahead of them needs to be kept in place. Full autonomy on the interstate highway sounds great, but city driving is significantly more difficult due to pedestrians and cyclists, whose unpredictable nature currently makes them the kryptonite of these driverless systems. It is clear that we must share the road, so it is especially important not to bump into pedestrians and bicycles.
With Super Cruise technology, GM is an automaker trying to do things differently. Super Cruise can only be used on highways that have been pre-mapped using cameras and GPS data, unlike FSD, which can be used almost anywhere at the driver's discretion. This is the safest place to test such technologies, as there are rarely any pedestrians or cyclists on the road to worry about.
Due to GM's less aggressive data collection strategy, Super Cruise (SC) will naturally evolve more slowly. Late last year, GM introduced Ultra Cruise (UC), which will allow a few high-end vehicles to take advantage of SC outside of the previously scanned highway network. Built-in diagnostics in the UC can also determine when a system needs to be upgraded, automatically log events and relay information back to GM's data ecosystem. It is a 2.5 level system, so the driver must be alert at all times, but will not notify the driver if they take their hands off the wheel. Instead, if it detects a problem, it will begin to gradually slow down the vehicle and turn on the hazard warning flashers.
A Guide to the 5 Levels of “Autonomous” Driving
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) created a hierarchy of autonomous driving aids in 2014 to better characterize the various levels of each. Technically Level 0 should be at the top of the list, but since that simply means no driver assistance of any kind, we skipped it. Acute readers will be aware that levels 2 and 3 are where GM and Tesla's semi-autonomous driving solutions are found. But a startup called Waymo is actively testing Level 4 autonomous driving in the Phoenix and San Francisco metropolitan areas with its fleet of Chrysler Pacificas. These cars operate in a rather small area as they can travel autonomously on public highways. Before 2030, most automakers want to implement Level 3 technologies.
Now let's introduce these levels to you.
Level1 ) (Driver Assist): At the bottom of the scale, this category describes devices that can assist braking or steering. Radar cruise control is a good example because although it can accelerate and slow down, you still have to steer to stay in your lane.
Level 2) Driver aids are quite similar to Level 1 in terms of automation (partial driving). Its distinguishing feature is that the driver can steer them as long as his hands are on the wheel or his eyes are on the road.
Level 3) (Conditional Driving Automation): Many automakers want to implement Level 2022 self-driving technology by 3. The way CDA works is quite similar to Level 2. The main difference is that the driver does not have to actively keep their hands on the steering wheel. or eyes on the road. Currently, there are no legal restrictions on this level of autonomous driving in the United States. Currently, levels 2 to 3 of autonomous driving are the highest you can achieve.
Level 4) (High Driving Animation): Things get a little harder when it comes to level 4 autonomous driving. Even with a person in the driver's seat, Level 4 systems will operate the vehicle similarly to Level 3 systems without the need for human involvement. According to SAE, which aims to use this technology in autonomous taxis and public transport, the key challenge is to navigate safely while avoiding pedestrians and cyclists in dangerous weather conditions.
Level 5) Fully autonomous driving The fifth and final degree of automation is the hardest to understand and also the easiest. These cars can operate fully autonomously and will not be constrained by geographic limitation or weather conditions.
Approaching a Tense Future
Tesla is one of many automakers hinting that fully autonomous vehicles could be launched within the next two years. It is in the interest of automakers to be the first to install a truly functioning self-driving system. Even as these sophisticated technologies evolve rapidly, nothing will happen overnight.
It's no surprise that Tesla developed its first products at a dizzying pace. However, these events questioned the brand's highly "creative" marketing language, which led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to launch an investigation into the business in August 2021 for misleading marketing techniques. These semi-autonomous systems are very promising for the future. But we must strike a balance between innovation and security.