The responsibilities and liability of a self-driving vehicle user
If you follow self-driving car technology it’s likely you’ve encountered the SAE Levels of automation. The SAE Levels range from 0 to 5, with higher numbers indicating more capable driving automation technology. Unfortunately, in public discussions there is significant confusion and misuse of that terminology. In large part that is because the SAE Levels are primarily based on an engineering view rather than the perspective of a person driving the car.
We need a different categorization approach. One that emphasizes how drivers and organizations will deploy these vehicles rather than the underlying technology. This is not a replacement for the engineering use of SAE levels, but rather a complementary tool for public discussions of the technology that emphasizes the practical aspects of the driver’s role in vehicle operation.