European automaker technology trends: Autonomous Vehicles

Benefits and competition driving development of autonomous technology

2016/12/20

Summary

Volkswagen I.D. Concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Source: Volkswagen
Volkswagen I.D. Concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show
Source: Volkswagen

 The advent of autonomous vehicle technology has had a significant impact on the automotive industry. Autonomous vehicles provide the possibility of improving safety, increasing individual mobility, reducing congestion and increasing productivity, while supplementing opportunities for new business models such as ride-hailing and ride-sharing. The potential marketability of autonomous technology as a vehicle feature and the competition within the segment are factors that have increased European automaker investment in the development of self-driving technology.

 In 2016, the three major German OEMs all revealed company strategies which featured autonomous technology as an integral part of their future. As the development of autonomous technology progresses, automakers have continued work on pilot and testing programs while forming partnerships with other entities. European automakers have also continued to announce, develop, and launch new vehicle models with various advanced driver assistance systems. This report summarizes European OEM trends related to autonomous technology, providing contributing reasons towards its rapid development, as well as current and future models and concepts with autonomous systems, strategies, goals, and other activities.

Summary of SAE levels of driving automation

Automation Level Definition
Level 1 – Driver Assistance The system performs either steering or acceleration/deceleration assistance for a dynamic driving task based on environment information while the driver controls all remaining aspects of the maneuver
Level 2 – Partial Automation The system performs both steering and acceleration/deceleration for a dynamic driving task based on environment information while the driver controls all remaining aspects of the vehicle
Level 3 – Conditional Automation The automated system performs all aspects of a dynamic driving task with the expectation that the driver will respond appropriately to a request to assume control
Level 4 – High Automation The automated system performs all aspects of a dynamic driving task with the expectation that the driver may not respond appropriately to a request to assume control
Level 5 – Full Automation The automated system performs all aspects of a dynamic driving task under all conditions that can be managed by a human driver



Related reports:

U.S. NHTSA: Announcement of guidance for autonomous vehicles (November 2016)
Nissan and Volvo Cars' autonomous driving (November 2016)
3D Maps for Autonomous Driving: Standardization and Update Method Studies Advance (September 2016)
Perspectives on autonomous vehicle development : TU-Automotive Detroit 2016 (June 2016)