Germany: New law allows autonomous vehicles in everyday use

Allowing the use of autonomous vehicles commercially, could give Germany the edge in the race to design self-driving cars.

The German Parliament in Berlin is said to have approved a new law on autonomous driving in the country.

According to a media report, the new regulation, which is currently awaiting the President's signature, will allow companies to start making money from autonomous driving services. The new regulation is aimed to spur future development in technology as well.

Autonomous vehicles will require humans to oversee the operations. A trained technician will monitor the autonomous vehicle from a remotely located command centre, eliminating the need to have a person at the driver's seat. The technician or supervisor will also be able to take control of the vehicle remotely, in case of trouble.

The autonomous vehicle will, however, be allowed to operate only in a defined space approved by authorities, away from traffic, which could get unpredictable and / or chaotic.

These regulations in the new law are said to reflect the realisation that humans are still years away from safely allowing the driver to disengage entirely and leave the car to do all the work.

Having said that, allowing the use of autonomous vehicles commercially could give Germany the edge in the race to design self-driving cars. The autonomous vehicles, although regulated, will help companies by providing large quantities of data, which can be used in further advancing the technology at a faster rate.

The autonomous technology will initially be used in buses to serve rural areas where public transportation is less. It could also be used in vehicles used in transporting components / people in a factory complex or even students around a university. Other autonomous services also include automated valet parking or robot package delivery.

Source: New York Times

Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene