Levels of Automation in Vehicles

Levels of Automation in Vehicles

Levels of Automation in Vehicles

In May 2013, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a policy on automated vehicles wherein they have setted levels to define automation levels 0 up to 4. Automation levels increases from non-automated up to a fully automated vehicle at level 4. 

In this blog, we are going to discuss these levels and what does a vehicle characterized as according to its automation level for people to understand it and utilize this small knowledge to their injury claims involving automated vehicles. 

In 2016, NHTSA's automation levels was superseded with Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) with an addition of level 5 automation. This blog's information will be according to SAE's automation levels as it is updated and relevant given with today's car features. Both didn't have conflict on merging their ideas and agreed on the 6 levels of automation identified as: 

  • Level 0 

    Vehicle with no automation at all are identified or belongs to level 0. No advanced features, only includes basic features such as cruise control. 

  • Level 1

    Level 1 automation vehicles are vehicles with adaptive cruise control, robotic assitance to keep vehicle in lane by using radars and cameras.
    Most vehicles offer level 1 automation.  

  • Level 2 

    In this level of automation, drivers are assisted with their vehicle's system in terms of controlling speed and steering
    but it doesn't mean these vehicles are in autopilot as they must still keep their hands on the wheel as well as help drivers in slow-moving traffic and few features from level 1 automation. This automation features were included in famous driving systems such as Tesla's, Audi's Traffic Jam Assist, and Volvo's Pilot Assist. 

  • Level 3

    Vehicles with level 3 automation has conditional automation
    which means these vehicles can drive themselves but requires certain conditions to be met and drivers are recommended to be still behind the wheel and be able to take over depending on the given scenario. 

  • Level 4

    Vehicles identified as having with level 4 automation are vehicles that can drive themselves without any of drivers' intervention
    but are not recommended to drive on high vehicle density roads and similar scenarios and it has only chosen road conditions where it works. 

  • Level 5

    Vehicle with full automation or vehicles which are feasible driverless are identified as vehicles with level 5 automation
    . Vehicles with this type of automation can drive on all road conditions without human control and there are no known vehicles that has this awesome feature yet. 


In accidents involving cars with automated features, it is important to consider what factors that could account into causing the accident if it is either caused by a factor related or unrelated to autonomous driving and it not, then a driver of a vehicles who seemed to caused the accident could be liable. But, if the accident was caused by a defective sensor, then the manufacturer or maintenance company could be charged liable. 

Ryan LLP 

If ever one of your family members or closests friend has been involved in an accident who have sustained either minor or significant injuries and even a possible case of amputation because of possibly a driver has shown apparent negligence and recklessness and caused an accident and render the victim to have life-threatening injuries and condition, you can always refer help from a professional experienced injury lawyer to smoothen things out as your hired lawyers can help you decide from their factual and legal advices and can help you sort things out legally rather than settling over cash offer without damage calculation and future's regards. 

Ryan LLP is an Ohio based injury lawyer that represents victims of personal injury caused by car accidents, medical malpractice due to medical professional's negligence, and even wrongful death against large companies, agencies and even individuals. We have 40 years of experience doing our service in this field and evidently successful with our civil litigations. Call our office now for free legal consultation. 

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