The terms "autonomous" and "self-driving" are often used interchangeably, but they are fundamentally different. Autonomous cars look and feel like a "normal" car, with forward facing seats, a steering wheel, and pedals. They're predicated on being able to take over for a human driver in certain situations, but they can be overridden by a human driver when necessary. A self-driving car, however, doesn't need a steering wheel or pedals and that's because it doesn't need a driver, ever. For a true self-driving car, the only thing you should ever have to do is enter your destination. NHTSA has created a classification for autonomous vehicles from level 0 to level 4. Most new vehicles on the road today as of year 2019 are at level 2 defined as two automated controls functioning in unison, for example, a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping. Although an autonomous car is technically not a self-driving car, all of the technologies autonomous vehicles incorporate are also necessary for self-driving vehicles. Autonomous cars are essentially one step along an evolutionary path. Autonomous features are gradually rolling out, one by one, and once all aspects of driving are automated, we will have self-driving.

March 24, 2019

 

 

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