Connected and autonomous vehicle (“CAV”) technologies are set to have a profound social and economic impact worldwide and continue to accumulate a great weight of expectation. Advocates argue that CAV technologies will improve road safety, ease congestion and reduce harmful emissions, whilst dramatically increasing the mobility of those who are not able to drive and improving the productivity of all as drivers are freed up to concentrate on other tasks.
CAV technologies: Where are they now?
The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) measures automation by reference to six levels, with “SAE Level 5” denoting the highest level of automation. Series production of autonomous vehicles capable of driving themselves without any human intervention or intervention only in limited use cases (SAE Levels 4 and 5) is still likely to be some years away. However, there are a number of increasingly connected vehicles on the market which can communicate and exchange information over the Internet with other vehicles, infrastructure and external devices, in order to improve the driving experience and create more efficient transport networks. At the time of writing, market observers consider saleable CAVs to have progressed to SAE Level 2, with technologies such as adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking enabling partial automation, though drivers are required to monitor the driving environment at all times.