Germany has enacted a law that will pave the way for the introduction of driverless vehicles on highways by 2022 for companies to provide adequate robotics and supply services in the country. Although autonomy testing is currently allowed in Germany, it allows the operation of driverless vehicles without a human safety operator behind the wheel. The bill, which passed the Bundestag in the lower house of the German parliament, last week, focuses on Level 4 autonomous vehicles. Level 4 Autonomy is a title of the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) which means that the computer conducts all driving under certain conditions or environment.
In Germany, these vehicles will be limited to geographical areas. “In the future, autonomous vehicles should be able to operate across the country without physically present drivers in certain operating conditions of highway traffic in regular operations,” the law reads. It can be used and society can take part in it.”
The bill still has to go through the upper chamber of parliament, or Bundesrat. The bill includes basic applications for self-driving vehicles on German roads, such as public passenger transport, business and supply travel arrangements, logistics, shuttle and travel arrangements between medical centers and leisure homes. Companies wishing to operate commercial driverless vehicles in Germany will have to comply with a few more rules, such as access to liability insurance and access to remote autonomous activities.
Companies already tested in Germany may have the upper hand in Europe’s largest economy. For example, Argo AI is testing its autonomous vehicles at the LabCampus Innovation Center at Munich Airport. Last June, the company opened its European headquarters in the Bavarian city and will open its test site this summer in partnership with Volkswagen to test the VW ID.Buzz electric van. Intel-subsidiary Mobileye also has a footprint test AV in Germany. Several states and countries in the United States often have regulations for testing and potential commercial deployments. Last week, Chinese robotaxi startup Pony.ai became the eighth company to allow driverless vehicle testing in California, and Nuro is the only company where it is allowed to operate commercially on public roads in the state.