GTAI has informed that Germany’s federal government has approved a draft law allowing for autonomously-driving cars to be active on German streets. Crucially within the law, responsibility for mishaps continued to rest firmly in the hands of the driver, but allows for the driver to hand control of his or her vehicle to the vehicle’s own control system in certain situations and for certain periods of time. The draft law also stipulates that the driver must be able to instantly override or deactivate the system at any time.
Most intriguingly, the law would require autonomously driving cars to carry a form of ‘black box’, which would record all driving data and thereby be decisive in disputes over liability, should the autonomous driving technology fail. The preparations and specifications of such a piece of technology are currently being processed through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
Germany is a pioneering country in the quest to make autonomous driving a reality. Sections of public highway have already been approved as live testing zones, while the country has been feverish in its R&D activities; the institute for the German Economy (IW) reckons Germany has registered 58% of all global patents in autonomous driving since 2010.