A study on autonomy level classification for self-propelled agricultural machines

Kyu-Chul Nam1   Yong-Joo  Kim2,3,*   Hak-Jin Kim4,5   Chan-Woo Jeon4   Wan-Soo Kim6   

1Certification, Warranty, Inspection and Standardization Team, Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative, Cheonan 31041, Korea
2Department of Biosystems Machinery Engineering, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
3Department of Smart Agricultural Systems, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
4Department of Biosystems Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
5Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
6Institute of Agricultural Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea


In the field of on-road motor vehicles, the level for autonomous driving technology is defined according to J3016, proposed by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International. However, in the field of agricultural machinery, different standards are applied by country and manufacturer, without a standardized classification for autonomous driving technology which makes it difficult to clearly define and accurately evaluate the autonomous driving technology, for agricultural machinery. In this study, a method to classify the autonomy levels for autonomous agricultural machinery (ALAAM) is proposed by modifying the SAE International J3016 to better characterize various agricultural operations such as tillage, spraying and harvesting. The ALAAM was classified into 6 levels from 0 (manual) to 5 (full automation) depending on the status of operator and autonomous system interventions for each item related to the automation of agricultural tasks such as straight-curve path driving, path-implement operation, operation-environmental awareness, error response, and task area planning. The core of the ALAAM classification is based on the relative roles between the operator and autonomous system for the automation of agricultural machines. The proposed ALAAM is expected to promote the establishment of a standard to classify the autonomous driving levels of self-propelled agricultural machinery.

Figures & Tables

Fig. 1. Schematic of driving task showing dynamic driving task in on-road vehicles. Adapted from SAE International (2018).