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Terminology for Specifying the Autonomy Levels for Unmanned Systems: Version 1.0



Hui-Min Huang


This document, produced by the Federal Agencies Ad Hoc Autonomy Levels for Unmanned Systems (ALFUS) Working Group (WG), lists the terminology to support the Group's main objective, the definitions of the unmanned system autonomy levels and the metrics for measuring the autonomy levels of the unmanned systems.The WG was formed and participated in, on a voluntary basis, by interested government practitioners and support contractors in the field of unmanned systems. The WG produces its outcome based on Group consensus. The terms should be defined in a generic way to support unmanned vehicles of various domains, including aerial, ground, and water. The terminology effort should be an evolving process. In this version of the document, besides maintaining the generic nature of the terms, we also provide domain specific extensions to support a specific program, the Army Future Combat Systems.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1011
Report Number


autonomy, control, environment, human robot interaction, measurement, metrics, mission, robot, unmanned system


Huang, H. (2004), Terminology for Specifying the Autonomy Levels for Unmanned Systems: Version 1.0, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2004, Updated November 10, 2018