As it was first reported by Reuters, the law has passed allowing Germany’s roads to take tests of self-driving cars. It will largely broaden possibilities of local car manufacturers such as BMW, Volkswagen, and Daimler, as the biggest headliners in this field, to start testing their vehicles in Germany, without a necessity to leaving doing it somewhere else like the US or South Korea.
Chancellor Angela Merkel foreseen the need to engage the local automotive industry in the streamlined rapid growth of driverless technology in 2016 and so 2017 became a year to start this initiative at the legislative level, untying hands to car manufacturers and lowering their costs to make tests, as they no longer will have to leave the Germany lands to make tests.
The law has the expected limitations applied on the autonomous vehicles during tests, the same as in many other countries that take the public road tests of these: a driver must always be in a driver chair to take over the control of a car if and when is necessary. The cars will also have to have the installed recording equipment to store all the data about every ride to make sure to distinguish who was driving a car – a human or a computer – during a possible road accident. This approach will be likely kept in the future, to make it clear who must be sued for an accident – a person driver in a case of his or her fault in it, or a car manufacturer in a case if the fault was done by the self-driving technology.
The man sitting in front of a steering wheel, may be distracted – to read news on the smartphone or to be engaged in anything else, taking hands off the wheel too, but if he/she will be warned about a need to adopt control, they must be available to make it within seconds to avoid collision or to handle any other potentially dangerous road situation.
In two years from the moment of adopting this law, there will be another reviewing of it, to go at the same pace with the changing technology, and to prepare a country for the upcoming 2020 date, when all driverless market participants expect to present the working autonomous vehicles for the public use.