We’re always having to take any word about autonomous vehicles with a grain of salt. Maybe they’ll be better in a few month, or a few years, but what about if they aren’t allowed for civilian use because of legislators?
Germany has decided to tackle that question head on. The Transportation Ministry recently gave some insight into what they’re working on. Before these laws would come into being, they would require the vote of parliament. It’s now being reviewed by the relevant regulatory departments.
The planned new legal framework should create the prerequisites in the current legislative period to allow for the standard operation of autonomous, driverless motorized vehicles on public roads, limited geographically to a defined environment.
Germany wants to be spearheading the new types of legislation around the future of automotive automation. Considering the country’s large car industry, it makes sense that they would want to influence the availability of some features.
In 2017, Germany was among the first countries to actually lay down guidelines for lower-level AI cars. Since then, the industry has come a long way, and companies other than Tesla are looking to expand their self-driving tech.
The laws will reportedly have to do with geographic legislation, perhaps limiting robotaxis to certain cities, or autonomous trucks from taking over on perilous roads. It will be interesting to see how this influences the booming autonomous trucking sector, as well as the robotaxi research going on, and the snowballing Tesla Full Self Driving.