The race for a fully self-driving vehicle is well underway. Different automakers, as well as car sharing services like Uber and Lyft, are embroiled in a technological competition to develop a car that doesn’t need a human driver.
Autonomous car testing is happening across the world, and autonomous systems are steadily becoming more advanced. The best autonomous systems that you can purchase today are still classified as being level 2 autonomous. The car is able to do a lot of things for the driver, but drivers still have to pay attention to surroundings and remain actively engaged. But many car companies expect to release autonomous cars with higher levels of autonomy in the near future, which will allow drivers to stop paying attention to the road.
As new systems are introduced, this list will be updated to include the level 2 autonomous cars and above that can be purchased in the US.
The 6 Self-driving Cars on American Roads as of March 3, 2017.
Right now, all these cars are still only considered to be Level 2 autonomous (read more on SAE autonomy levels), and so drivers have to continue to pay attention while driving them, even with self-driving features turned enabled.
Audi “Traffic Jam Assist”
A slower speed level 2 autonomous system; it only allows for 15 seconds of hands-free driving at a time, but has adaptive cruise control, lane guidance, automatic braking, and can follow a guide car.
BMW 7 Series (2016)
According to the Consumer Reports review, the driver assistance is useful, allowing the car to brake, stay in a lane, and can steer itself for short periods of time. It can also park itself while there is no driver inside.
Honda Advanced Driver Assistance System
You get adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, lane centering, and can hit the highways without your hands if lane markings are clear and there is a car ahead of you for the Honda system to follow.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class with Drive Pilot
The car can stay in a lane, follow the car ahead of it, automatically change lanes, and allows for hands-free driving for up to 30 seconds at a time (the limit is a apparently a safety feature).
Tesla Autopilot and “Tesla Vision”
Automatic cruise control, lane changing, and hands-free driving (so long as you are paying attention), the Tesla Autopilot is the most advanced on the market right now, but other car companies are hot on Tesla’s heels. Musk has called the technology Tesla Vision in recent investor calls.
Volvo Pilot Assist
It doesn’t let you take your hands off the wheel or automatically change lanes but the Pilot Assist feature can stay in a lane, change speeds, and generally lets the driver relax during monotonous sections of driving.
This article was originally published on March 3, 2017.