Autonomous driving is still not widely accepted. It is plausible, however, due to the increasing complexity of software development. Autonomy will make mobility safer and will fundamentally change the way we drive and engineer cars. This technology will allow drivers to have stress-free, focused, and valuable time. What would people do with all that time?
Modern society seems to be lacking something- time. Time is glorified as money. We imagine all the things that we could do if we had more time. Autonomous driving will provide some extra time for the driver as we are getting closer to the future of automotive engineering.
What to do with it?
Levels of autonomy
The majority of modern cars currently on the roads are autonomous to some degree. We are not yet ready to fully autonomous vehicles, which correspond to the fifth level of autonomy.
Here is a quick summary of the fifth level of autonomy:
• Level 0 - there is no automation in the car, and the human is totally responsible for the driving.
• Level 1 - An advanced driver assistance (ADAS) system can operate steering or brake/acceleration.
• Level 2 - the ADAS in the car can control the steering, the brake, and the acceleration.
• Level 3 - The vehicle's ADS can perform all aspects, but only in certain circumstances. It is necessary that the human monitors the driving process and is available to take control at any time. Modern vehicles already have this level of driver assistance.
• Level 4 - The ADS can drive and monitor all aspects of driving under certain conditions. This level is highly autonomous, and the driver doesn't have to pay attention to driving or the surrounding circumstances.
• Level 5 - The ADS can handle all aspects of driving regardless of the conditions. This level allows the human driver to travel while sleeping.
According to NHTSA, we have now reached level 3 autonomy. This fact means that the vehicle can have Partially Automated Safety features, Lane-keeping Assist, Traffic jam assistance, Lane-keeping aid, and even Self-parking.
What would people do with the free time enabled by fully automated vehicles?
Recent research by GenPop/Ipsos shows that most people will continue to pay attention to the road. The majority of European car owners were surveyed and said they would pay the most attention to the road and communicate with others. Only a small percentage of respondents said they would either take a break, relax or work during this plus time.
The results are similar in North America and Asia. These results show that drivers still don't trust the idea of fully autonomous driving.
Even if the widespread adoption of completely autonomous driving is yet to come, certain automated aspects are already facilitating driving for millions of drivers.