Self Driving Cars: A Breakdown of Automation Levels

Self-driving autonomous cars were once mere fantasies dreamed up for future worlds that only existed in science fiction novels and movies. Today they are becoming a reality as manufacturers progress through these 6 levels of automation. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Tesla can absolutely be applauded over making electric vehicles popular (again) by offering attractive designs (with the exception of the Cybertruck being so controversial), decent pricing, creating a brand name and a following, and these days offering increased automation. As expected though, since all of this is still in its infancy, there are issues. In early 2022:

However, although annoying, neither of these seems to be life-threatening and Tesla is taking the correct action by doing recalls.

Will society accept full automation? That’s hard to tell given what the world can throw at it and the legal ramifications of a car doing something without its owners’ input. For example is whoever is in the car and/or whoever owns the car legally responsible for whatever the car does? If most cars on the road are level 4 or 5, will people still need to pass driving tests and if so, why (especially if there’s no steering wheel in the car?). Should fully autonomous vehicles still provide the option for a human to take over?