SAE Updates, Refines Official Names for ‘Autonomous Driving’ Levels

The new update doesn’t dramatically change the structure of the previous collection. In fact, the chart that the SAE uses as a bit of a cheat sheet for the different levels has remained exactly the same since it was last updated in 2019, but there are new clarifications for the industry to use.

The biggest changes are in what defines the Level 3 and Level 4 systems. The definitions have been clarified to note that there might be some automated fallback at L3, while at L4 there is the possibility of some alerts to in-vehicle users.

There are also changes when it comes to human-in-the-loop systems, with the new terminologies finding room for the remote technologies and naming the people who might be involved in controlling a vehicle from afar: remote assistant and remote driver.