When it comes to autonomous driving, there are 5 levels. So far, Tesla has been leading the way but they have just reached level 3. In recent car news, a British autonomous driving software company operating under the name Oxbotica has begun testing Level 4 autonomous cars.
What is the difference between Level 4 and Level 5?
A Level 5 autonomous driving car can work in any condition. Level 4 is restricted and only predefined conditions are met the car will drive itself. What this means is that Oxbotica is taking self-driving cars to a whole new level, above what Tesla is doing.
For the tests, the company is using Ford Mondeos equipped with a set of cameras and radars. The company so far has been creating simulations to train its software. In recent car news, Oxbotica made 6 working Ford cars that are being tested in Oxford. The company is testing their software in real-world conditions to continue their research and get us close to the moment when everyone could buy a car that can drive itself without any human intervention at all.
As impressive as it may be, Oxbotica is not the only company that is testing its self-driving technology on public roads. Other companies began similar tests. Despite the continuous financial investments into self-driving technology, we are still years away from having such technology available in consumer vehicles. According to Oxbotica, their real-life tests offer continuous feedback, and improvements are made constantly. Oxbotica will continue its trials on public roads until fall 2021.
The main goal of the company is to develop Level 5 taxis that could be used to replace current public transportation solutions. The ambitious goal is still far away from becoming a reality as even if the technology would exist, regulations would make it difficult to have such cars available for the average consumer.