Germany to allow self-driving cars nationwide by 2022September 15, 2020
German Chancellor Angela Merkel held private consultations at the end of last week to discuss plans to legalize fully autonomous transport in the country. According to the local news agency The Local DE, Merkel believes that Germany should play a “pioneering role” in the regulation of self-driving cars, and therefore should be the first state to release drones on public roads.
The first step to be taken to achieve this goal is the development of a legislative framework that will allow unmanned vehicles to operate on a regular basis throughout the country. In consultations with Merkel, the deadline for the introduction of these norms into force was 2022.
This is a very ambitious timeframe, since most analysts are confident that fully self-driving vehicles will appear on the roads in less than 5 years (and, possibly, in all 10). Perhaps the only one who thinks otherwise is Elon Musk, who claims that Tesla’s autopilot will reach level 5 of autonomy by the end of this year, that is, it will be able to completely replace a person in driving a car. But there is no evidence of this at the moment and now the Tesla autopilot corresponds only to level 2 autonomy, like the autopilot systems of many other automakers developing automatic control technology.
Regulating the technology before it hits the mass market, however, could help make it safer and eliminate the moral and legal gray areas in which partial autopilot systems operate today, including Tesla’s autopilot. This will be the goal of German politicians and parliament members for the next 2 years.
Back in July, Germany announced it was developing a law to allow Level 4 autonomous vehicles. “The planned new legal framework should allow standard operation of Level 4 autonomous vehicles on public roads,” the German Transport Ministry said at the time. Probably, now all these developments will be used for a new task – to make a legislative base immediately for fully autonomous transport.
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