The first autonomous car hit the road in 1968! It was a Mercedes 250 automatic developed to test Continental tires. Once the electrical signal was turned off, the vehicle simply stopped. A stepper electric motor moved the steering wheel and electropneumatic pressure was used to decelerate.

světla aut

Today, there are five degrees of autonomy.

Level 1: The car assists the driver, but the driver has full control over the car.

Level 2: The car intervenes in the steering operation and can accelerate, decelerate, and change direction. However, the driver must monitor traffic conditions. This is partial automation.

Level 3: In this conditionally automated driving, the driver does not need to pay attention to surrounding traffic under given conditions. However, the driver must be able to control the vehicle within a given time limit.

Level 4: Here, vehicle automation is limited only by the sensitivity of sensors, such as when visibility is poor due to weather.

Level 5: Full automation.

Autonomous vehicles should improve safety on the road and thus eliminate dangerous driver behavior; considering the 2018 Audi Q7, it has reached automation level 2 and is already widely available. This vehicle self-checks traffic signs, especially speed limits, and adjusts its driving speed accordingly. It also has an autopilot mode, which allows it to sense the road lines, maintain its lane, and maintain a steady speed.

Perhaps the biggest daredevils in this field are a young American couple who filmed an AV while driving down the highway in a Tesla X with level 2 autonomy. The gamblers were thus distracted from driving for 10 minutes, but surprisingly no accident occurred.
audi na slunci

It is clear, however, that current laws are not yet compatible with automobile automation. Audi clashed with U.S. authorities in testing parking meters and had to abandon the project for the time being. The problem with autonomous vehicles is that their driving, and thus their initial testing, must be adapted to each country and its regulations. We will be watching closely to see which direction this development takes.