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Germany becomes first country to include autonomous cars in public transport

© Gilly

Germany aspires to be a world leader in autonomous driving. To that end, a new law voted by the Bundestag on May 19th paves the way for self-driving cars. It establishes the legal basis for autonomous cars to be permitted to travel on open roads across the country beginning in 2022. It also defines data recording and utilisation.

Following the advancements achieved in the United States in 2020 with Waymo, Nuro, and Tesla, Germany and its automotive sector were forced to respond to the autonomous car.

The German federal government has filed a bill on autonomous driving to parliament in order to boost research and development and make future transport more adaptable, safer, and ecologically beneficial.

The new rule, which goes into effect on May 19, 2021, establishes the legal basis for autonomous cars (dubbed “level 4”) to travel properly on public highways. As a reminder, when the autonomous driving system is engaged at Level 4, the driver no longer has to watch it.

The system assumes complete control of the vehicle. The occupants of the car are merely passengers and are free to do anything they choose. By disabling the autonomous driving system, the driver can regain control of the steering wheel at any point.

With the passage of this legislation, Germany becomes the first country in the world to include autonomous cars into everyday transport. The goal is to have vehicles with self-driving capabilities in service by 2022.