What are AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES: Levels, Advantages, and Disadvantages

In that article, we will discuss about the autonomous vehicles and will cover five aspects- What are autonomous vehicles or cars? What are the Five levels of vehicles, How these vehicles work, and their advantages and disadvantages.

We will start with a basic introduction. Autonomous vehicles are those vehicles that can move by sensing their surroundings with little or no external assistance. In other words, you can also say that these vehicles are driverless or robocars and also known to be the next-generation car. However, these cars have not come into the market yet and still in progressing phase. Countries like China, Germany, and the United States are rapidly work in the field of autonomous cars, and many multinational companies also working in this field like Apple Inc. , Alibaba and Tesla. The history of autonomous cars is not so old. In 1939 Norman Bel Geddes invented the first driverless car which operated on electricity and guided by the radio-controlled system with the help of electromagnetic fields which cased in the roadway. These vehicles are categorized into 5 levels which are :

5 Levels of Autonomous Vehicles –

Driver Assistance:

Driver Assitance

At this level, Car can drive on moderate automation but still driver needed for accelerating, breaks and steering, etc. In the first level, the car can drive with only partial automatic features.

Partial Automation:

Partial Automation

At this level, cars can be used with more dynamic features like acceleration, steer controlling, and gear controlling and it will reduce the role of the driver but the driver must be attentive for crucial scenarios in which automation cannot be able to handle its own.

Conditional Automation:

Conditional Automation

Conditional automation is the giant step in autonomous cars or driverless cars because it is a crucial step for safety and removes many problems. At this level, the vehicle is able to sense or detecting the environment and can move accordingly, but the driver’s role is also critical for several areas but it is very true that at this level human attention is not required that much.

High Automation:

High Automation

At this level of automation, the vehicle is able to handle most of the things like steering, braking, taking turns, horns, reacting to traffic signals, and will notify the driver from time to time. High automation removes almost so many problems and makes driving much easier for the driver but it should not be assumed that it completely ends the driver’s role. If you want to know about driverless train then we recommend you have a look at How a driverless train work

Complete Automation:

Complete Automation

At this level, the car is able to perform almost all the functions from steering to braking, pedals to responding to traffic signals and jams, and even can drive on high altitude areas like hilly roads and mountain ranges. Many countries and big MNCs are constantly working to achieve level 5 automation. Many countries are planning to achieve complete automation in public transportation by the end of the next decade.

Autonomous vehicles operate by highly modified artificial intelligence system which includes sensors, complex algorithms, high-end machine learning system, powerful processors and much heavy software, etc. The combination of all these things makes a vehicle able to react on its own by sensing the environment and after assessing the situation vehicle will navigate further.

Advantages of Autonomous Vehicles

Now we will talk about the benefits of autonomous Car :

  • Decline in accidents: According to a survey 90- 95 percent of accidents happen due to human error but automation of vehicles certainly decreases the chances of error because with artificial intelligence systems chances of errors or faults almost gone.
  • Minimize the fuel consumption: Generally we humans don’t intend to save fuel even we are in red light but thanks to advanced features of autonomous vehicles, cars will move only when required and automatically stop at Red light signal which eventually saves the fuel.
  • Ease of transportation: Autonomous vehicles can significantly scale up public transportation. Public buses, trains, cabs, and metros, etc will work very effectively and efficiently without any human error and fault and lead us to the path of development.
  • Systematic parking: We humans create a lot of chaos and problems during parking the vehicles but automation of vehicles will certainly end all of these problems to a great extent because all the vehicles automatically parked in the right places and won’t break the parking rules.
  • Increase in safety: Autonomous cars certainly increase safety because these vehicles act according to the situation and effectively prevent accidents.

Disadvantages of Autonomous Vehicles

But it is obvious that every thing has two sides so the autonomous car also have some disadvantage which are:

  • Heavy price: The cost of driverless cars is very high than usual conventional cars and ordinary people can’t afford them.
  • Sudden decline in driver jobs: Automation of cars will definitely reduce the jobs of drivers and it causes some extent of unemployment.
  • Whom to blame if accidents happen: If autonomous cars crash and cause fatal injuries to others then whom we should blame and who will compensate to injured?
  • Increase in terrorist activities: Driverless vehicles will be the greatest weapon for terrorists because they can cause explosions and bombardments by loading explosives in these vehicles.
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