Your childhood dream may be no more a fantasy.
One big news for truck industry has just arrived the day before yesterday; UD trucks implemented the demonstration drive of their level 4 fully-electric and autonomous trucks called “Fujin”, and it ended up as a big success.
The driving demonstration on Dec. 12, 2018 by UD trucks was held assuming the use in certain areas such as harbors, factories or logistic institutions. The demonstration was carried with the driver’s precedence in case for the emergency, but gladly, it turned out that the driver had never needed to control the steering wheel, accelerator or brake during the whole drive.
The improvements of efficiency, safety and productivity are expected in various business fields by applying this level 4 automation system. UD trucks aims to put this level 4 autonomous vehicle to practical use in certain conditions by the year of 2020.
Let’s see what Level 4 means and how far the current technology has came!
Definitions of Driving Automation Systems
According to the standard set by American NPO, SAE international, they provide a taxonomy with detailed definitions for six levels of driving automation from Level 0 (No automation) to Level 5 (Fully Automation)
<Level 0: No automation>
Driver is in complete control of the vehicle. The normal vehicles which many of us drive will fall into this category.
<Level 1: Driver assistance>
The driver is in control of the vehicle, but the system can support the drive with the modification of the speed and steering direction of the vehicle.
<Level 2: Partial automation>
The driver is no longer in control of the speed and steering of the vehicle, however the driver must be able to control the vehicle if driving corrections are needed. EX. Parking assistance, Tesla's autopilot feature
* Level 1 and Level 2 are considered not as driving automation system but as driving support system.
<Level 3: Conditional automation>
The system is in complete control of all the vehicle functions under specific conditions like high-way. However, the driver must be ready to intervene, when requested by the system to do so.
<Level 4: High automation>
The system is in complete control of the vehicle and driver presence is no longer needed if it is under specific conditions or in specific area.
e.g. UD trucks “Fujin”
<Level 5: Full automation>
The system is in complete control of the vehicle at any time. Therefore, driver’s presence is no longer needed and accelerator pedals or steering wheel can be excluded from the vehicle. No Level 5 automation vehicle has yet to be invented by this point.
Fully automated vehicles are just around the corner
Fully automated vehicles are not something you imagine only in the science fiction novels anymore. Many automobile makers are now eagerly working to invent the very first fully automated vehicle in the world. The day our technologies create the dream car will surely not so far in the future.
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