How Close Are We to a Self-Driving Car?

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Here Are the Different Levels of Self-Driving Technology, and Which Cars Have Them

In September, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it will rely on definitions of self-driving technology as outlined by SAE International, an association of engineering professionals, to form the government’s policies and guidelines on autonomous vehicles.

SAE identifies six levels of vehicle automation that range from Level 0 to Level 5. While some current vehicles offer advanced technologies that can assist drivers, most modern vehicle technologies fall into SAE’s Level 0 because a human driver is still needed to operate the vehicle.

Very few vehicles offer Level 3 technologies, and no Level 4 or Level 5 systems have been commercially deployed. In other words, those who are eager to take a self-driving car for a spin will have to be patient.

In the meantime, this is how several currently available driver assistance systems are categorized by SAE.