MG Astor: The semi-self-driving car is here

MG Astor, the company says, has Level 2 ADAS, i.e. it can ‘keep’ itself in a lane, follow a vehicle ahead at that vehicle’s speed, and apply emergency brakes on its own

By:September 20, 2021 3:52 PM

The upcoming compact SUV by MG Motor India, the Astor, will get Level 2 ADAS, the company has said. But what exactly is this level, and what is ADAS?

Short for Advanced Driver Assistance System, ADAS has been available in India for quite some time (primarily in the luxury car segment). Volvo, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have been selling cars in India with ADAS; Mahindra’s upcoming SUV, the XUV700, will also get ADAS.

The Astor will have Level 2 ADAS, i.e. it can ‘keep’ itself in a lane, follow a vehicle ahead at that vehicle’s speed, and apply emergency brakes on its own.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the global professional and standards body, has defined levels pertaining to driving automation technologies, from 0 to 5.

According to the SAE, Level 0 is zero automation (pertaining to driving), i.e. the driver is fully responsible for controlling the vehicle.

Level 1 includes features such as adaptive cruise control (automatic acceleration and braking) and the driver can take her feet off the pedals.

Level 2 means partial automation, i.e. the car can perform complex functions that pair steering (lateral control) with acceleration and braking (longitudinal control).

The Astor is a Level 2 car.

Level 3 is when a driver can disengage from the act of driving, but only in specific situations. This level is generally considered the initial entry point into autonomous driving.

Level 4 is high automation, i.e. the car’s autonomous driving system is fully capable of monitoring the driving environment and handling all driving functions for routine routes.

Level 5 is full automation, i.e. the driver isn’t required behind the steering wheel at all. Right now, Level 5 vehicles are being tested only in standard test conditions.

The Astor will compete with SUVs such as Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun and Skoda Kushaq, among others.

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