TCCID News

Exploring Levels of Automation (it might not be what you think!)

July 20, 2020

Exploring Levels of Automation (it might not be what you think!)

July 20, 2020

Understanding autonomous vehicles can be tricky. It’s easy to assume that an autonomous vehicle strictly refers to one that doesn’t even need a human in the driver’s seat. Although this is a form of automation, it’s not the only type of autonomy a vehicle can have.

In the earliest days of auto manufacturing, vehicles had no automation at all, so they needed a driver at all times for all functions. Believe it or not, the first form of autonomy in cars came about in 1945 with the addition of the cruise control feature. 1Since then, the autonomous vehicle industry has made great strides, offering much more than just cruise control.

Fully autonomous vehicles are not widespread in the market, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t beginning to see this technology in mainstream vehicles. One of the most memorable commercials of early 2020 was Hyundai’s Boston-based “Smaht Pahk,” which shows a new model that can locate a spot and park by itself. Manufacturers have been working for years to put even more autonomous features into production. So just how far away are we from a fully driverless world?

Just this year, a report2 showed that a fleet of 41 driverless 18-wheelers are being tested on major highways already. Advanced autonomous technology is in our vehicles right now, so we are working ahead of the curve to integrate that technology into our roads. Read about how we are working to prepare our infrastructure to meet the future of driving in our Chastain Road Corridor Study.

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