Automakers and Tier 1 AV suppliers shift their automated-driving ambitions to “eyes-off/hands-off” technology that ushers in SAE Level 3 capability for personal vehicles…
The vital next iteration of driving automation are “eyes-off/hands-off” systems that cut the cord with the harassing driver-monitoring camera that ensures drivers’ eyes are on the road when their hands are off the wheel — because their eyes no longer have to be on the road. Mercedes-Benz, the first OEM to market an eyes-off/hands-off system in the U.S. with its Drive Pilot, encouraged drivers at the media launch to play games on the test vehicles’ center touchscreen while Drive Pilot was engaged with navigating hardscrabble Los Angeles traffic. Principal suppliers and developers of eyes-off/hands-off technology agree that this is the realistic next phase in driving automation.
Bridging the SAE levels
If quickly-advancing sensor and computational innovations caused many developers to call expanded ADAS capabilities SAE Level 2 “plus,” then it’s tempting to consider eyes-off/hands-off tech as SAE Level 3-plus, some sources say. For a key developer like Mobileye, which is putting considerable effort into its eyes-off/hands-off “Chauffer” technology, the next step up from its Supervision “eyes-on” system seems to be leaning toward almost pure SAE Level 4 functionality.