Autonomous cars: hands on the wheel for now

Videographic on autonomous cars. German auto giant Volkswagen and US tech leader Microsoft said Thursday they were joining forces to develop autonomous vehicle driving systems, cementing a 2018 partnership to exploit the possibilities of the Cloud. VIDEOGRAPHIC

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- Ask anyone in the auto sector, and they'll tell you autonomous vehicles like these are the future of car transport, but that's a long way off. Today, the driver is still fully responsible for controlling the vehicle at all times. Let's look at the six levels of driving automation. Level 0, the vehicle has very limited autonomous features, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warnings--

[BEEPING]

--lane departure indicators.

[PASSING CAR SOUND]

Level 1, the driver has steering or brake or acceleration support. And for example, lane centering or adaptive cruise control, but not all of these features together. Level 2, now the car can manage at least two autonomous tasks simultaneously, braking and acceleration or lane centering, but the driver must be vigilant. Level 3, the vehicle is able to manage most driving functions on its own, but in limited circumstances, traffic jams, for example. When the car says so, the driver must take over.

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Level 4, there might not be any steering wheel in the car at all. Imagine a driverless taxi or shuttle. The car is fully automated and can be operated in most road conditions and many different environments. Level 5, passengers are now traveling in a vehicle that can drive itself in all environments at any time of the day or night and in any weather conditions. This is the fully automated vehicle.

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