Dramatic changes are coming for transportation and the way the technology is intertwined with the vehicles we drive is taking another massive step forward with autonomous driving. These autonomous capabilities range on a scale from 1 to 5 and BMW does a good job breaking this down along their timeline.
The Level 1 driving capability has been deployed by BMW for some time in the form of Active Cruise control featuring Stop and Go technology, collision and distance warnings.
Level 2 is currently in the field with newer 7 and 5 series and X3 which allows a driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel briefly.
Level 3 should arrive around 2021 and will allow a driver to completely remove their attention away from the road, but will need to be available to take over at any moment.
Level 4 should arrive also in 2021 in the form of a pilot test and this may allow a driver to completely ignore the road but still be able to take over if necessary.
Finally, Level 5 will bring full autonomy and there will no longer be a driver, only passengers.