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SAE J 3016-2021

Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles

This document describes [motor]  vehicle driving automation system s that perform part or all of the  dynamic driving task  ( DDT ) on a  sustained  basis. It provides a taxonomy with detailed definitions for six levels of  driving automation , ranging from no  driving automation  (Level 0) to full  driving automation  (Level 5), in the context of [motor]  vehicles  (hereafter also referred to as “ vehicle ” or “ vehicles ”) and their  operation  on roadways:       Level 0:   No Driving Automation     Level 1:   Driver Assistance     Level 2:   Partial Driving Automation     Level 3:   Conditional Driving Automation     Level 4:   High Driving Automation     Level 5:   Full Driving Automation   These level definitions, along with additional supporting terms and definitions provided herein, can be used to describe the full range of  driving automation features  equipped on [motor]  vehicles  in a functionally consistent and coherent manner. “On-road” refers to publicly accessible roadways (including parking areas and private campuses that permit public access) that collectively serve all road  users , including cyclists, pedestrians, and  users  of  vehicles  with and without  driving automation features .   The levels apply to the  driving automation feature (s) that are engaged in any given instance of on-road  operation  of an equipped  vehicle . As such, although a given  vehicle  may be equipped with a  driving automation system  that is capable of delivering multiple  driving automation features  that perform at different levels, the level of  driving automation  exhibited in any given instance is determined by the  feature (s) that are engaged.   This document also refers to three primary actors in driving: the (human)  user , the  driving automation system , and other  vehicle  systems and components. These other  vehicle  systems and components (or the  vehicle  in general terms) do not include the  driving automation system  in this model, even though as a practical matter a  driving automation system  may actually share hardware and software components with other  vehicle  systems, such as a processing module(s) or  operating  code.   The levels of  driving automation  are defined by reference to the specific role played by each of the three primary actors in performance of the  DDT  and/or  DDT fallback . “Role” in this context refers to the expected role of a given primary actor, based on the design of the  driving automation system  in question and not necessarily to the actual performance of a given primary actor. For example, a  driver  who fails to monitor the roadway during engagement of a Level 1 adaptive cruise control (ACC) system still has the role of  driver , even while s/he is neglecting it.   Active safety systems , such as electronic stability control (ESC) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), and certain types of  driver  assistance systems, such as lane keeping assistance (LKA), are excluded from the scope of this  driving automation  taxonomy because they do not perform part or all of the  DDT  on a  sustained  basis, but rather provide momentary intervention during potentially hazardous situations. Due to the momentary nature of the actions of  active safety systems , their intervention does not change or eliminate the role of the  driver  in performing part or all of the  DDT , and thus are not considered to be  driving automation , even though they perform automated functions. In addition, systems that inform, alert, or warn the  driver  about hazards in the driving environment are also outside the scope of this  driving automation  taxonomy, as they neither automate part or all of the  DDT , nor change the  driver ’s role in performance of the  DDT    (see  8.13 ).   It should be noted, however, that crash avoidance  features , including intervention-type  active safety systems , may be included in  vehicles  equipped with  driving automation system s at any level. For  automated driving system  ( ADS )  features  (i.e., Levels 3 to 5) that perform the complete  DDT , crash mitigation and avoidance capability is part of  ADS  functionality   (see also  8.13 ).


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Society of Automotive Engineers [SAE]


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