China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announces "Automotive Driving Automation Classification"

After nearly three years, the Chinese version of the autonomous driving classification standard was finally released.

On March 9, the official website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the approval of the recommended national standard for “Automotive Driving Automation Classification”, which will be implemented on January 1, 2021. Since the pre-research started in 2017, more than a dozen domestic and foreign companies including Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Geely, Guangzhou Automobile, and Changan have assisted in completing the drafting and modification of standards.

Based on the degree to which a driving automation system can perform dynamic driving tasks, according to the role assignment in the execution of dynamic driving tasks and whether there are restrictions on design operating conditions, “Automotive Driving Automation Classification” divides driving automation into 6 levels of 0 to 5.

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in particular:

Level 0 driving automation (emergency assistance): The system has the ability to continuously perform part of the target and incident detection and response. When the driver requests the driving automation system to withdraw, the system control can be immediately released.

Level 1 driving automation (partial driving assistance): The system has the ability to detect and respond to some targets and events that are compatible with vehicle lateral or vertical motion control, and can continuously perform vehicle lateral or vertical motion control in dynamic driving tasks.

Level 2 driving automation (combined driving assistance): The system has the ability to detect and respond to some targets and events that are compatible with vehicle lateral and longitudinal motion control, and can continuously perform vehicle lateral and longitudinal motion control in dynamic driving tasks.

Level 3 driving automation (conditional autonomous driving): The system can continuously perform all dynamic driving tasks within its designed operating conditions.

Level 4 driving automation (highly automated driving): The system can continuously perform all dynamic driving tasks and perform dynamic driving task takeovers within its designed operating conditions.

Level 5 driving automation (fully autonomous driving): The system continuously performs all dynamic driving tasks and performs dynamic driving task takeovers under any drivable conditions.

It is understood that during the formulation process of China’s “Automotive Driving Automation Classification”, SAE J3016’s 0-5 classification framework was referenced, and adjusted in light of China’s current actual conditions.

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To reduce unnecessary disagreement, the two versions of the standard basically align the results for each specific driving automation function. Generally speaking, there is not much difference between the two.

The difference is that SAE J3016 puts safety assistance functions such as AEB and non-driving automation functions at level 0 and classifies them as “driverless automation”, while China’s “Automotive Driving Automation Classification” calls them “emergency assistance”. Separate from non-driving automation functions. In addition, the Chinese version of the standard has clearly added requirements for driver takeover monitoring and risk mitigation strategies in Level 3 Driving Automation, clarified minimum safety requirements, and reduced actual application safety risks.