Electric Vehicle Autopilot

Electric Vehicle Autopilot: The Complete Guide

What is electric vehicle autopilot is a question many people have. When I first heard of autopilot in electric cars, I pictured a car driving itself I thought of  Knight Rider.  However, I quickly learned that the fully autonomous car is a long way out. Actually, the society of automotive engineers has defined five levels of vehicle automation.

 Society of automotive engineers electric vehicle autopilot levels

Driving Automation Levels Explained

  • Level 0 represents a vehicle where the driver manages all aspects of driving. The driver may have some features such as emergency braking, blind-spot warning, or lane departure warning, but the driver is making all the decisions.
  • Level 1 represents a vehicle where the driver is in control but may have a limited driver assistance feature. For example, the vehicle may have either lane-centering or adaptive cruise control.
  • Level 2 represents a vehicle with partial driving automation. For example, vehicles with lane centering and adaptive cruise control capabilities help drive vehicles in certain situations. However, he still needs to be supervising the vehicle at all times.
  • Level 3 is a vehicle that has partial automation. The vehicle would be able to drive by itself in limited circumstances but still needs human supervision.
  • Level 4 vehicles have a high level of driving automation. As a result, the vehicle should be able to handle most driving situations, but there would be instances the vehicle would need human intervention.
  • Level 5 vehicles are fully autonomous and can drive themselves in all situations.

Driving Automation Today

Most vehicles today that offer autopilot are level 2 in terms of the level of driving automation. Today, drivers who use autopilot need to be constantly alert and ready to take over as driving automation is limited. From my experience using Tesla’s autopilot features, the vehicle has integrated aspects of adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and navigation features. However, when using the feature, you have to be ready to take over at a moment’s notice as the vehicle does not know how to handle all the scenarios a driver may face.

If you want to learn more about what kind of autopilot features, head over to Electric Driver to learn more about autopilot for electric vehicles. Also visit our guide to learn how Electric Driver can help you find the right electric vehicle.