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According to the latest Canalys research, passenger cars with level 2 autonomous driving functionality represented 10% of all new cars sold in the US in Q2 2019. Sales of cars with level 2 driving features were up over 460% compared with Q2 2018.
Canalys estimates that 414,000 cars with level 2 autonomy were sold in Q2 2019, representing 10% of new cars, up from less than 2% of new cars sold a year ago. The growth was driven by mainstream car brands that now include the features, as standard or as an option, in new models.
Toyota and Nissan lead the market and are ahead of premium car brands, such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla.
“Leading mainstream brands Nissan and Toyota, and more recently Ford, have added level 2 driving functionality and other ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) features to the latest versions of popular car models. By making a suite of ADAS features standard in many models, the penetration of advanced driver assistance and active safety features in new cars is now increasing at a fast rate,” said Chris Jones, Chief Analyst at Canalys. “Car-makers have used the advanced features as differentiators in new cars—now they are seen as must-haves, and not just in cars from the premium brands.”
“But car-makers must clearly communicate the benefits of the level 2 driving features and drivers must use them as intended – these are not self-driving cars. The features must create a safer, more comfortable driving experience. If they don’t or if drivers do not trust the technology, they will not use it.”
Level 2 Autonomy Definition
The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) defines levels of driving automation. With level 2, the human driver must always be fully engaged and monitor the environment. Under certain conditions, the vehicle can take control of more than one driving function, such as steering and acceleration/braking, in combination. Examples of systems that meet the definition include Autopilot from Tesla, Pilot Assist from Volvo and ProPILOT Assist from Nissan.
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