This chapter drafts the path for the radical change from conventional vehicle concepts (SAE level 0) to fully automated driving vehicles (SAE level 5) in the long term. Actually, the huge effort being expended by academic and industrial R&D on numerous research projects, prototype development and systems reliability will lead to an “electronic revolution” inside the vehicle. The stepwise implementation of advanced vehicle control systems on the path to automated driving enabled by sophisticated electronic systems is drafted by SAE, as shown in the following figures.
Automation levels, oriented closely to the definition of BASt project group “Legal consequences of an increase in vehicle automation”
Self-driving car evolution
By taking over the driver’s tasks gradually, fully automated vehicles will be the logical extension of advanced vehicle control systems in the long term. Therefore, the functionality, including all the safety aspects, still needs significant R&D effort to enable fully automated vehicles to be viable in the real transport environment.
Potential effectiveness of combined systems
The expected impact of these applications is to achieve zero fatalities globally and utilize available infrastructure capacity to a maximum, as it is expected that the number of vehicles will continue to increase in the next 20 years. Advanced vehicle control systems mainly aim to increase energy efficiency and safety as well as to improve comfort and enable the communication between vehicle and infrastructure. Since the majority of all accidents is caused by the human element factor, advanced vehicle control systems have the potential to avoid those accidents and therefore, save human life. The chart below shows that an accident avoidance of over 50% is possible for a combination of ABS, ESC, lane keeping assist (LKA), predictive brake assist (PBA), automated emergency braking (AEB), driver vigilance monitoring (DVM), speed limiting systems (SLS) and alcohol interlock (AI).