Autonomous vehicles are referred to by a couple of different terms, including pilotless, driverless, and unmanned. An autonomous vehicle is a vehicle capable of fulfilling the human transportation capabilities of a traditional vehicle. They are able to sense their environment via radar, lidar, GPS, and computer vision, and they can navigate without human input. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify navigation paths as well as obstacles and signage.
Autonomous vehicles generally refer to land vehicles, but as technology moves forward, more air-based vehicles such as drones will work autonomously as well.