Autonomous driving is moving forward globally in a progression of scaled technology, defined in “levels” of automation.
- No automation. The human driver is in control.
- This includes the majority of vehicles on the road today.
Level 1 and Level 2: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
- Some automated features are introduced, like automatic braking, stability control and cruise control, but a human is still in charge. Level 1 means the car can only work one automated system at a time, while Level 2 means that multiple automated functionalities can work in tandem. For example, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) plus Lane Keeping Assist (LKA).
- Defined by systems like AEB, where the car can deploy the brakes on its own if a collision is imminent. Or Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) which can warn the driver and/or deploy steering if the vehicle moves out of a lane.
- Besides electronic stability control, Level 1 and Level 2 systems like AEB and LKA began to be deployed only a few years ago.
- Today, less than one in five new vehicles in developed markets include even AEB. But this is set to change. Safety regulators around the world are starting to include Level 1 and Level 2 technology as a prerequisite for a vehicle to achieve a 4- or 5-star safety rating.
- For example, in Europe, any vehicle model newly launched from 2018 will need to have Automatic Emergency Braking (for vehicles and pedestrians) as well as Road Edge detection and Lane Keeping Assist as part of the base price to achieve a 4- or 5-star safety rating.
- Considering that about 85 percent of vehicles achieve 4- or 5-star ratings, the “fitment rate” of Level 1 and Level 2 technology is set to increase rapidly over the next five to seven years.
As the market moves towards more advanced ADAS systems, the driver still needs to be fully alert.
- However, under the right circumstances, the vehicle can take care of many of the mundane aspects of driving.
- Mobileye technology supports several Level 2 systems on the road today. In 2018, introduction of EyeQ®4, the tri-focal lensed camera, and higher complexity algorithms will result in substantially higher ADAS functionality, as well as initial Level 3 systems.
Level 3 through Level 5: Autonomous Driving
Level 3 – Autonomous Under Certain Circumstances
- Level 3 automation means the vehicle can take over all driving functions under certain circumstances. The less-complex highway environment (all vehicles moving in the same direction, no pedestrians, no complex intersections) is the most logical circumstance.
- All major functions are automated, including braking, steering, and acceleration. At this level, the driver can fully disengage until the vehicle tells you otherwise. This is where the vehicle crosses into true “autonomous capability,” and when technology begins to enable substantial benefits beyond safety, such as increased productivity.
- Going from Level 2 to Level 3 requires substantial increases in functional safety levels and system redundancies. In certain circumstances, the vehicle will need to ask the driver to re-engage. Since the driver cannot be assumed to take control instantaneously, the system will need to ensure safety for a period of time when the driver is still not engaged (for example, to pull over and stop if the driver does not respond to repeated requests to re-engage).
- Mobileye expects this additional redundancy to be covered by additional sensors like radar and lidar (for shape and object detection) and by Mobileye’s REM™ localization map for identification of safe drivable paths and knowledge of intersections and other traffic signage or instructions.
Levels 4 & Level 5 – Fully Autonomous
- Level 4 and Level 5 vehicles are autonomous in all situations and driving environments, not just “under certain circumstances,” as in Level 3.
- In Level 4 there does not have to be a driver because the vehicle is prepared for every situation and the human has moved from being the driver to just a passenger. Level 5 vehicles will not have a steering wheel or other human-used vehicle controls.
- We believe the initial deployment of this technology will be for “ride-sharing” fleets within confined areas.
- Driverless vehicles make the ride-share model much more cost-effective and compelling, as they eliminate the biggest cost of ride-share fleets: the driver. Initial deployment into ride-share fleets brings two other significant benefits: We expect initial usage will include a trained operator in the driver seat, to enable consumers to gain experience with the technology with the assurance of a trained operator monitoring the situation, and the ability to generate real-world performance data in a safe way. Once enough data is generated, we would expect the regulatory framework to approve widespread usage.
- By using our crowdsourced REM™ Roadbook technology, the move from “somewhere” autonomy to “everywhere” autonomy is simply a switch of a button because the maps will be continuously updated everywhere, not only in confined, geo-fenced areas.
- Eventually, we will see auto companies scale-up from ride sharing to “shared ownership” where people and organizations share ownership of a car that can drive anywhere. This is even more transformative than ride sharing because it opens up completely new business models for transportation.
- In 2016 Mobileye announced its partnership with BMW and Intel intending to bring a fully autonomous vehicle into serial production by 2021.
- Also in 2016, Mobileye announced a partnership with Delphi Automotive to produce a turnkey autonomous driving system designed for rapid adoption by a variety of automakers.